MBX

Mount&Blade Expansion => Mod Graveyard => Minor Mods => Topic started by: fujiwara on February 21, 2007, 11:11:34 PM

Title: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: fujiwara on February 21, 2007, 11:11:34 PM
Ron Losey has asked that I upload a version of his RCM for Native to the Repository.

The download can be found here. (http://www.mbrepository.com/modules/PDdownloads/singlefile.php?cid=8&lid=419)

From Ron:

Realistic Combat Model for Native

This is a retrofit of the "Realistic Combat Model" (originally
developed for
Onin-no-Ran) to M&B native.  This file contains the item_kinds1.txt
file,
and the module_items.py source code.

Although fully playable, it is intended as a source for mod developers
wishing to use the model.  No attempts have been made to balance
prices, and
the results on game balance in Native are uncertain.

There may be errors.  Lacking a clear historical frame, some values
have
been improvised from existing prices, weights, or in-game usage. 
("Scale
armor" ... what kind of scales?  Steel?  Iron?  Hardened leather? 
Thick?
Thin?  Large?  Small? ... it's cheap, so assume the worst.)  Typos are
also
a possibility.

This is not fully tested.  It is intended as a programming resource and
demonstration of the RCM, and is not what you would call a complete
"mod". 
It is provided in response to overwhelming popular demand.

Ron Losey (RCM developer)
(Questions or comments may be directed to me on the MBX forum.)

I tried to post this to Minor Mods, but I don't seem to have New Topic permissions there...
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on March 10, 2007, 12:27:46 AM

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.

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

A cheap trick of a work-around, I know ... but it's the best I could do with the M&B engine at the moment.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on March 18, 2007, 01:14:16 AM
Updates for all RCM fans:

In addition to this Native Retrofit, the following mods are now running or converting to RCM:

Onin no Ran - the original RCM.  Now operating very nearly bug-free in regard to the combat model, although the mod itself is far from finished.  The pride of the Realistic Combat Model project.

Mesoamerica - Custom RCM conversion (by me).  Now public release for .808 - combat model appears to be bug-free, and game play is exceptional (notably better than I expected, actually). 

The Last Days (TLD) - Optional RCM with versions 2.4 and following.  Item1.txt file must be manually renamed.  Instructions included with TLD download.

Holy War - Beta including custom RCM conversion.  Still in development and/or testing.  Release date unknown.  The beta looks promising.

Pirates of Calradia - (hosted on Taleworlds) - custom RCM.  Features ship combat and working catapults.  Open source, for anyone wishing to include ships and/or catapults in other mods.

Guardians Party - Nema's dream world is adopting the RCM scale... but it includes so many deliberately unbalanced purely fantasy items that it cannot really be called a "Realistic Combat Model" version as such.  It's more like D&D on LSD.  It's sort of appealing, in a psychedelic sort of way... if you're really in the mood for a bad acid trip ... (Not one of my custom ports, although I am advising.) Now available.

Hero and Blade has adopted a modified version of the RCM.  Not your normal M&B game, but kind of addictive anyway.

Yogi's Realistic Weapon Sizes hotfix for Native is now distributed in both Native and RCM versions.  Not really a "mod" - it's a developers' tool package, but it does come with both sets of stats for Native items.  Bugs have been noted.

--------------------------------------------
One put on hold and probably forgotten:

"Cult of the Big Lizard" - the "mod of mods" project.  An experimental mod being constructed around the principle of committee rule with no specific mod lead.  Custom RCM including adjustments to combat balance.  The fights should be wild.



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

And one removal from the list:

Yoshi's "Pirates" and "RPG Mod" are being released unfinished, as he will be unable to continue work on them for some time.  RCM conversions on them are suspended until he resumes work on them, or until someone else takes them over and expresses interest.

And a dead mod:
The Yogi's "Red Company" mod has been dropped from development, as changes to M&B .89x make the benefits of such largely obsolete.

And one presumed dead until further notice:
ASLOW - in planning/rework of combat system.  Custom conversion including extensive concept art and literary rewrite. 

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

This page will be updated as necessary.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: nema on March 20, 2007, 04:25:02 AM
I saw that you prepare to put RCM to many mods. Do I need some special permission to put it into my mod (guardians) for native part? Itís very easy to import native part there. Please tell me if you are agreeing. :)
nema
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on March 20, 2007, 04:46:11 AM
I saw that you prepare to put RCM to many mods. Do I need some special permission to put it into my mod (guardians) for native part? Itís very easy to import native part there. Please tell me if you are agreeing. :)
nema


Go for it.

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

Note to all:

The RCM was written for the mod community.  If you can use the Native version, go for it.  If you just need to add a few things to that, just base them off of existing stats ... something in Native is probably close enough to give you a good idea of what the numbers should be.  If your mod uses a substantial number of non-native weapons or armor and/or requires special balance considerations, contact me about a custom port.

This thing was created to fix the balance problems and generally bad physics in Native.  If everybody would use it, that would be fine by me.

If you want to use the RCM, do tell me so I can get your name on the list here.  Also, you might want to include comments to that effect in your announcements.  That will make sure that the growing base of RCM fans know which mods are using it.

Ron
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on March 22, 2007, 01:10:05 AM
Update:  Work beginning on ASLOW.  Looks very promising.  Noted above.

For anyone unfamiliar with "A Shield Lying On the Water", it is a fictional setting rewrite including a long-term strategic war planning model.  The fiction writing is exceptional.  Along with RCM conversion, I will also be providing some of the game balance and military planning advice - hopefully doing justice to the extremely rich setting by producing an equally rich fictional military tradition.

The mod itself is in fairly early stages.  RCM conversion will begin on a limited scale, with additional equipment coming on-line as the models and textures are completed.  Any beta-testing announcements will eventually be handled in the ASLOW thread (RCM fans and beta testers of other RCM versions take note).  Time estimates unknown.

I am very excited about the potential for ASLOW ... it will be the first major RCM project to be done in an entirely fictional setting, and so will test the limits of the model with regard to internal game balance.

Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: nema on March 24, 2007, 02:29:13 PM
Guardians Party - Nema's dream world is adopting the RCM scale... but it includes so many deliberately unbalanced purely fantasy items that it cannot really be called a "Realistic Combat Model" version as such.  It's more like D&D on LSD.  It's sort of appealing, in a psychedelic sort of way... if you're really in the mood for a bad acid trip ... (Not one of my custom ports, although I am advising.)  Exact public release date on the rescaled version unknown.

Thanks for this interesting comments.

It is true that world of dreams is not much different from psychedelics experiences.
I try to adapt my fantasy weapons and armors to native RCM. But I am not succeed at all points. Yeah its fantasy, not real word any way. So you can not find perfect balance as in perfect Ron's works.

I like RCM very much and in many parts it is more similar to my word than the native. It is real great idea and behavior of the weapons is really pure joy.

I recommend that RCM will become standard for all mods. (Even for such twisted as my is)
 It deserve it. And we can not to overlook this important and revolutionary contribution to M&B. This is real original idea. Congratulation.

Any way, Ron thank you for your work and especially for use in my dreamy world and your advising.

If there is maybe someone who want to risk with unusual experience of the dreams word with imported RCM for native is free to find download link on my topic.

nema
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on March 24, 2007, 07:32:38 PM
Above post altered to reflect that Guardians Party is now available in RCM scale.

Thanks for the support, Nema, and I hope nobody takes any offense at my comments of it being a psychedelic experience.

 
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: nema on March 25, 2007, 02:34:46 AM
Thanks for the support, Nema, and I hope nobody takes any offense at my comments of it being a psychedelic experience.
Hey, my friend, It is kind of psychedelic experience. And I am proud that I succeed to conjured such unreal word.  ;)
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Dryvus on April 19, 2007, 10:07:34 PM
Where to unzip it? Just the regular M&B folder?
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on April 20, 2007, 12:03:13 AM
Where to unzip it? Just the regular M&B folder?

You just want to play the game?

Your best bet is to make a copy of the "Native" mod folder.  (That's under "modules")  Call it "Native-RCM" or something.  Then unzip the .txt file and overwrite the native one in your newly created folder.

(Doesn't matter what you do with the .py file - it's just the source code.)

This was really created as a mod coders' resource... I didn't really think of anybody having trouble installing it.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Dryvus on April 20, 2007, 12:38:06 AM
Thanks for the instruction. I like RCM quite a bit and it's probably the only things (besides a new release) that would get me playing native... just plain old impatience on my part for a Western-culture mod to integrate.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on April 20, 2007, 07:46:27 AM
Thanks for the instruction. I like RCM quite a bit and it's probably the only things (besides a new release) that would get me playing native... just plain old impatience on my part for a Western-culture mod to integrate.

I suppose Mesoamerica is a little TOO "Western" for what you had in mind?  It's RCM, but the Aztec obsidian weapons are kind of a strange twist on the theme.  I keep thinking Holy War will get it together soon.

Note that this Native retrofit is not in any way balanced for long-term play.  This is just the items ... I didn't touch the troops file.  It was supposed to be a programmer's resource.  It may not be worth much if you're just playing it for entertainment.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Dryvus on April 20, 2007, 09:16:05 AM
Okay, I had the wrong impression. I play Mesoamerica w/RCM and Onin no Ran the most (cause of the RCM). I'm looking forward to being blown away by the new Holy War version, when it's ready to go.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on May 07, 2007, 04:47:59 AM
General announcement:

Yogi's "Red Company" mod will be using native weapons, so that the RCM Native file can be used with it.  (He is using it himself.)

However, the Red Company mod will not actually include an items file in the first release.  It is necessary to download the RCM Native package separately, and assemble the two yourself.

Beta release on that is expected soon.

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

Above list updated. (Third post, this thread.)
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: The Yogi on May 21, 2007, 04:48:35 AM
Hey Ron, one thing that I found a bit disturbing with RCM was the increased speed of horses. I've been doing a little bit of riding myself, and the speed and maneouvrability in Native felt about right, but in RCM the horses pretty much fly - it just feels too fast!

So knowing that you wouldn't have made such a change just because "fast is fun", can you tell us something about the reasons behind this increase in speed? Have I just been riding really slow horses? :green:
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on May 21, 2007, 05:41:29 AM
You must have been riding lame horses.

Seriously, the RCM horse speeds are based off of the ratio of human speed to horse speeds.  A horse gallops at roughly 30 to 40 miles an hour, depending on the horse.  A running man averages 3 miles an hour over rough terrain.  If anything, the horses are slow - I did not model a true run for them.  Their top speeds are based off of a common gallop.

Everyone else, including myself, who has ever been on a horse has agreed that the new speeds better reflect real horses.  The original M&B horses ... well, I've seen horses swim faster than those could run.

Heck, as a little kid, I remember a fool barrel pony that could literally turn in its own tracks from a dead run - 40 mph one way, and suddenly 40 mph the other.  Staying on that horse was next to impossible.  It was probably "Angry little pony: minimum ride skill 9" ... but still... it was a little Indian pony, not a race horse.

So I'm going to say you have been riding really pathetic horses.  The ones with humps are camels ... they run slower.  (I did the camels for the Holy War mod too.)

--------------------------------
Edit:  I mean the camels for the Holy War .808 beta, not yet in public release.  Only the developers and beta test team have seen them so far.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: The Yogi on May 23, 2007, 07:34:24 AM
So I'm going to say you have been riding really pathetic horses.

Icelandic ponnies, mostly, but also huge breed called "Nordsvensk" (not quite a draught horse). The ability of not being able to turn so quickly I always saw as a limitation of the riders ability to stay in the saddle in a high speed turn. That feeling of "shit, if I turn any tighter I'll go flying" I felt was quite accurately modeled. Had I been a better rider maybe I would've felt more constrained in M&B.

Well, anyway, I'm sure your numbers are accurate. I'll get used to it, no doubt.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on May 23, 2007, 09:32:01 PM
Well, "accurate" might be giving me too much credit, but I figure they're better than they were.

Staying on the horse is not easy.  That's why they have a "minimum ride skill" rating.  A good horse will accidentally throw a bad rider, even if he doesn't mean to.

Sounds to me like your personal riding skill was too low for your horse.  I still remember that feeling all too well, and I haven't been on a horse since I was pretty young.  Granted, I remember the feeling because the little appaloosa pony I was using was just plain dangerous (it was an old rodeo barrel pony) ... but still, I know the feeling.  I spent some time flattened against the horse with both hands on the saddle horn, while that critter decided to turn in its own tracks or jump over a car or something.  (The fact that the blasted little pony did whatever it bloody well wanted, as if I wasn't there at all, didn't help much.  My dad, who had done some rodeo riding, tried to ride it and ended up in a tree.)  Really quite a tame horse - it seemed to like the attention of having a rider ... but you had to have nerves of steel to stay on it.  Angry little pony: minimum ride skill 9.

Put in some more time on the real horses ... you'll get better.  You may fall off a few times, but that comes with the territory.  You'll find out that, if you know when to lean and when to hang on, you can stay in the saddle through a lot of crazy stunts.  Although I was never really that good, I've seen it done plenty of times.

You can bet that warriors of the ancient world had few problems staying on the horse.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on July 25, 2007, 09:52:52 AM
General announcement:

Hero and Blade is now using a modified RCM version.  It is not one of my conversions, and the skill and hit points start out kind of fantasy, but it still plays pretty good.  Kind of an addictive little mod.

First post updated.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Agent Griff on August 26, 2007, 09:14:39 AM
It would be cool if some of the major mods on the Taleworlds forums used RCM. I especially like Battle for Sicilly but it is sad that the combat is the native version. A test I use to see whether a mod uses RCM or not is to shot a merchant in the head with an arrow. If the arrow pokes him in the eye, but he still talks to you then something is obviously...native.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on August 27, 2007, 10:30:46 AM
It would be cool if some of the major mods on the Taleworlds forums used RCM. I especially like Battle for Sicilly but it is sad that the combat is the native version. A test I use to see whether a mod uses RCM or not is to shot a merchant in the head with an arrow. If the arrow pokes him in the eye, but he still talks to you then something is obviously...native.

Due to some very bad experiences with Onin-no-Ran and the lack of moderators and/or regulations on the Taleworlds board, I will not deal with that forum.  (That's also why ONR is over here.)  If any of those mods wish to convert to RCM, they will have to contact me over here.

However, the standing policy is that the RCM was created for the mod community.  Any wishing to use it are free to contact me.

Note, however, that you will find a substantial block of people over on Taleworlds who hate the RCM for various reasons.  The most common cited one is "game balance" - which usually translates "failure to use any tactics at all".  (Or else their only test case was that fool retrofit I did for native, that due to plate armor in the game, had no long-term play balance at all ... it was a test case for modders, not intended to be playable.)  The other deal is from people who get angry over the word "realistic", as they apparently actually believe that a lot of people keep fighting with a hatchet embedded in their chests, or that the difference between a jacket and a coat of armor is about 3 points.  Or they blame me for every shortcoming of the M&B engine or the AI.  I suspect a couple of them are just angry that they didn't think of this themselves.  If you suggest this publicly, you will get a backlash from that crowd... expect it.

If you really want to see this happen, you might try contacting the developers of those mods by PM and asking them what they think about it.  Personally, I'm not going to hunt them down, as I have enough irons in the fire already.... but if they come to me about it, I'll do what I can.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on September 11, 2007, 03:09:38 PM
RCM for TLD is up!  Version number is 2.4 - it is optional, you will have to rename the item1.txt files to get it working.  Instructions included with TLD.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on September 18, 2007, 10:33:18 PM
General update, before someone asks:

The RCM for Native copy currently up is for .808

The RCM will be ported to .890, starting with the major mods.  First round will likely be direct port, i.e. copy of the current results, and tweaks will be made to take advantage of the new features later.

RCM Retrofit for Native .890 is NOT a priority.  It may eventually exist, but it is secondary to the major mods.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on September 26, 2007, 11:51:23 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.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Fisheye on September 27, 2007, 05:42:34 AM
Did you get soak and reduction reversed?

These are my guesses based on the descriptions.

I think soak is the old model, it subtracts directly from the damage. So a 30pt plate mail will almost always neutralise the damage from a rusty dagger, since it soaks (0-30) points of damage per hit.

Reduction is the factor that the damage is reduced by... I'm guessing after it gets through the soak value. So if your rusty dagger rolled 30 damage, and the reduction of leather is 0.5 with 0 soak, then the dagger will do 15 damage. It may be independent of the armor value.

So basically (this is weird) if you set soak to 0 then all your armors are the same (i.e. awfully thin).

Yes I think you have it reversed:

Quote from: Armagan
Thank you for the suggesting it. The workaround I found for this is adding two new variables to module.ini file: armor_soak_multiplier and armor_percentage_reduction_multiplier. I am setting these to 0.5 and 1.0 now respectively for the native module. You can set them to 0.0 and 1.0 to make a fully percentage based system. To return to the old system one can set them to 1.0 and 0.0.

So my guess for returning it to the old system is:

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
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on September 27, 2007, 06:10:52 AM
Fisheye:  You caught it the same time I did....


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


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:  check the discussion thread.  I am getting high damage numbers on just about everything.  Something is seriously not adding up.  I think the entire formula has been changed.  Any information on this ... I needed it yesterday.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on September 28, 2007, 04:05:51 AM

Sent a note to the M&B dev team ... haven't heard back yet.  I did, however, find one of the problems.

It seems Power Draw has been increased to 12%.  Plus, note that it is up to three PLUS the PD requirement of the bow - i.e. a long bow with PD requirement 3 can go up to PD 6, or 72% above listed rating.  It was only like 6% before ... the increase is phenomenal. 

(I only figured that one out when I noticed that crossbows didn't have this problem.)

That means I have to rework all of the bows to account for this.  A mathematical nightmare.

Still can't explain why certain melee weapons do way too much damage.

Everybody stand by ... We'll have a working RCM version soon enough.  Or if not, it won't be for lack of trying.


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

Edit:

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: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Fisheye on September 28, 2007, 11:39:36 AM
I'm merged it into Band of Warriors. There's a feedback thread here:

http://forums.taleworlds.net/index.php/topic,26849.0.html

I hope I don't alienate the whole player base by making a big change like this. :) *crosses fingers*
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on September 28, 2007, 01:01:24 PM
I'm merged it into Band of Warriors. There's a feedback thread here:

http://forums.taleworlds.net/index.php/topic,26849.0.html

I hope I don't alienate the whole player base by making a big change like this. :) *crosses fingers*

I hope that was not extremely premature.  We are still dealing with an obviously bugged version.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Fisheye on September 28, 2007, 01:06:13 PM
Geh, I'm not that invested in BoW anyway. It was always supposed to be a 5-minute lark, for some bizarro reason it's now the 4th most popular download on mbrepository...
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on September 28, 2007, 05:53:05 PM
Geh, I'm not that invested in BoW anyway. It was always supposed to be a 5-minute lark, for some bizarro reason it's now the 4th most popular download on mbrepository...

I know that feeling, oddly enough.  The entire RCM project was originally just trying to get the blades and horses in ONR to behave right.  After two months of trying to explain my ideas on forums, I built the first fully playable version in two days, having never programmed in Python before.  (Told Fujiwara to give me the source code and 48 hours, I would make it work or die trying.)  Now it's the standard for the major mods, and I feel like half the M&B mod community are waiting on me to get this right.

But now that the RCM mods include half of the modded games, I have to be a little more committed.

How are we going to run down this damage bug?  I'm still seeing swords and such reading way too high.  After that rather cheap work-around, the arrows seem playable, but not really "right".  Other stuff is still much too high.

Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Fisheye on September 28, 2007, 08:01:56 PM
I'm realising that the weapon mashup in Native can be either realistic, or balanced, but not both.

Plate armor is just too good, and rightly so. Swords and arrows don't do jack against heavily armored enemies. Half the so-called "weapons" in the arsenal are completely out of date. The troop AI is not smart enough to switch weapon types depending on enemy armor and weapon penetration.

I think the Pope (forum dude, not Benedict) got the right imagery when he said it was like a T-34 tank rolling onto the field against Napoleon's troops. Too far out of period, mashup doesn't work. That's why the RCM is best for the historical-type mods (or anything with a consistent tech level, like TLD which doesn't have plate).
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on September 28, 2007, 10:29:28 PM
RCM-Native has always been a developers' tool.  It was never balanced for long term playability, nor has any claim been made of such.

However, as a developers' tool, it can be extremely useful to see what kinds of equipment interact in what ways.  Long, relatively light swords SHOULD be ineffective against really heavy armor ... if they are not, then we have a problem with the stats.

Any substantial mod will have to design the equipment level to reflect this.  This is true no matter what model you use.

Don't forget, however, that balance can be developed in other ways.  Mesoamerica has excellent game balance, in spite of one side having top-end Spanish steel from the very high point of Gothic weapons and armor, and the other side being neolithic.  That's because the neolithic side has a LOT of troops, and they're tough, fast, and as well-armed as neolithic people can be, while the Spanish suffer from low manpower and apparent supply shortages (i.e. not all of their troops are as well armed as one might think) that render them quite vulnerable.  ONR, also, draws a deliberate contrast between samurai and peasant equipment - like a T-72 rolling onto the field against a bunch of modern farmers with squirrel-rifles.  Balance there is developed by the high cost of equipping and maintaining samurai.

So if you're working up Band of Warriors, or whatever, consider non-conventional ways of developing balance.  It can be very rewarding.

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

Assuming, of course, that I can ever in my lifetime get the bloody formulas figured out.  They seem to make no sense at all, considering what I knew about the previous ones.  This is an absolute programming nightmare.

Everybody ... please, help.  I need to know how the base damage formula works.  If you don't know, collect a bunch of numbers and guess.

Damage used to be random between 50% and 100% of rated value, then minus armor (calculated the same 50-100%).  Now, either that has changed, or huge bonus factors have been added for various reasons ... I can't tell which.

Until this is decoded, THE RCM .89x IS NOT READY FOR USE.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on September 29, 2007, 05:05:52 AM

Eureka!   (That's Greek for "Yikes!")

I found the melee damage bug.

It seems that, starting with .890, strikes now have different base damage.  A quick swing has a max damage equal to the rated number.  A swing that is drawn fully back (i.e. the button held down until the weapon stops moving) does 125% of rated, and a vertical drawn back fully does 130% of rated damage.  Thrust attacks don't seem to be affected.

When combined with even a couple points of powerstrike, to compound the effect, damages can easily go up to 160% or more of rated damage.  With several points of powerstrike ... 160% of 130% ... you get the idea.

Previously, damage was deducted for less-than-perfect attacks ... not added for heavy ones.  In short, it means all the swing-damage weapon values in the RCM are 130% of what they should be.

I'm going to try to have this fixed by some time tomorrow (local time).  I may have to work all night to do it.


Everybody waiting on this ... stand by.  Going to need some people to help test it, again, soon.  Maybe we'll get this fool thing to work soon enough, and the major mods can start porting their stuff to .89x ...looks like there might be hope, now.  The Power Draw thing is still a cheezy work-around, but if that's the worst thing wrong, I'll feel better.

Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on September 29, 2007, 09:26:44 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: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Fisheye on September 29, 2007, 10:51:19 AM
Ron, the RCM version of Band of Warriors only got 120 downloads and I got absolutely no feedback on the thread.

Meanwhile the non-RCM Band of Warriors currently has 1200 downloads. I guess the masses have spoken on this issue.  :(
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on September 29, 2007, 06:25:13 PM
Ron, the RCM version of Band of Warriors only got 120 downloads and I got absolutely no feedback on the thread.

Meanwhile the non-RCM Band of Warriors currently has 1200 downloads. I guess the masses have spoken on this issue.  :(

Several problems there ...

One, you used an unplayable alpha version.  I suspect that if I had downloaded that for the first time, I would not have thought much of it either. 

Second, you posted it on the Taleworlds board, where the RCM is largely unknown, and those who do know it have only seen the retrofits to native (hardly long-term playable) or some of the crude copies floating around.  Most who saw that post probably had no idea what you were talking about, and those who did probably figured they didn't want to mess around with some kind of a test version.  Plus 90% of the downloaders probably never saw the thread - they just checked the Repository for whatever was new and didn't sound like an internal alpha test of some kind.

Update that version to the latest - alpha 3 - and announce it over here in the new / announcements thread.

I mean, the survey on TLD placed the RCM at preferred roughly 3 to 1 over .808 Native, even in spite of the major balance issues.  The Mesoamerica survey came out a ratio of about 3 to 2 between RCM and some unspecified future version "in-between", with almost no votes for .808 native at all.  It depends on who you ask... people who actually play with the RCM mods for more than two minutes are usually immediate converts.  On the other hand, those who speak out against it most loudly usually admit that they never really played any of the mods for more than a few seconds, and are basing their argument on math that they don't understand.

It's not what you do, it's how you do it...
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: mfhberg on September 30, 2007, 09:50:37 AM
Just little adjustments for Native RCM

1 - Strength rating for Brigandine (I use 8)
2 - Damage for Morning Star (much heavier than the Military Pick so I up it by two).

Downloaded and am testing the RCM for BOW, but that heroes not showing up for battle bug gets in my craw.

mfhberg
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on September 30, 2007, 10:13:37 AM
Just little adjustments for Native RCM

1 - Strength rating for Brigandine (I use 8)
2 - Damage for Morning Star (much heavier than the Military Pick so I up it by two).

Downloaded and am testing the RCM for BOW, but that heroes not showing up for battle bug gets in my craw.

mfhberg

Get the alpha 3 for native until Fisheye gets BoW updated.  (Unless that's done ... I didn't check.)  As far as I know, he used the alpha 2 numbers, which were - thanks to changes in the formula - all 30% too high on melee damage and so quite unplayable.

The lack of strength requirement on some armors and weapons was a Native bug ... I didn't add them, out of fear that some units might be unable to use their armor or weapons.

I'll check on morning star and military pick next time I think of it.  Seems like the morning star was rated too low in TLD as well ... I seem to repeat that mistake quite often.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on October 01, 2007, 09:18:15 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.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: JeffBag on October 06, 2007, 12:22:06 PM
Hi, mind if you upload it to repository or maybe filefront? I can't download from Rapidshare thanks to my genius ISP. Thanks.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on October 06, 2007, 01:15:37 PM
Hi, mind if you upload it to repository or maybe filefront? I can't download from Rapidshare thanks to my genius ISP. Thanks.


RCM_Native_0892_semi-final.zip:
http://files.filefront.com/RCM+Native+0892+semi+fi
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: JeffBag on October 06, 2007, 10:02:53 PM
Thanks a lot, but the link doesn't seem to work?
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on October 06, 2007, 10:24:15 PM
Thanks a lot, but the link doesn't seem to work?

It cut the link off ... trying again:

http://files.filefront.com/RCM+Native+0892+semi+finalzip/;8734834;/fileinfo.html

Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: JeffBag on October 06, 2007, 10:49:22 PM
Ah, it works this time. Thanks again.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on October 23, 2007, 11:32:18 PM
Minor notes:

Empire Mod now using RCM_Native.

Yogi's realistic weapons sizes project being offered in both Native and RCM stats.

"Cult of the Big Lizard" - experimental mod for developing new modding tricks.  Custom RCM including complete combat and troops balance.  Playable beta to be announced.

Current RCM_Native version IS compatible with .894, but may require a change in the module.ini file to eliminate that annoying warning message about being for an older version.  The annoying warning message won't hurt you.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Sunhawken on October 26, 2007, 01:27:57 AM
Can you add the source to this.

So can have RCM with my new items.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on October 26, 2007, 01:35:31 AM
Can you add the source to this.

So can have RCM with my new items.

The version on the Repository, as well as that last Filefront link, should have the correct module_items.py file with them.  If they do not, ... well, if they do not, I need to know about it.  Also note changes to the module.ini file ... those changes are necessary as well. 
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on November 01, 2007, 02:49:58 AM
General announcements, since there have been some questions:

One, melee damage on all weapons in .89x had to be adjusted.  Base damage for certain strikes is no longer 100% of rated, as it was before.  (more like 130%)  The actual damage numbers with the new version should be roughly the same as before, although the rating numbers are lower.  That's just the way the math comes out.


Two, on archery:
M&B .89x has made life very hard for the RCM.  Power draw skill is now seriously over-rated, and includes the damage of both the bow and arrow.  This has forced some extreme measures to keep it within the desired damage range.  Math to follow:

Let us take, for example, a bow (rated PD1, damage 1) and arrow (damage 40) with a total unmodified damage of 41.  At Power draw 4, (12% x 4 = 48%), its base damage is 60.  Against an unarmored target with 45 hit points, that is a 50% chance of a first-shot debilitating hit.  Compare to the NATO study on military gunshot wounds, which said bullets have about a 30% chance of debilitating on the first hit, 90% on the second, and 98% or better on the third ... and that bow is packing a pretty good punch.

At PD 8, the same shot is base damage 80, and since bonus for skills has also been increased, more like 90 if the shooter has any skill to match the PD rating.  That comes out a roughly 99% chance for a first-shot kill and a 50% chance of a first-shot kill against a shirt of maille (armor 45).  That's more like the numbers you see on a whale harpoon or an anti-aircraft gun than an arrow.

Also, higher damage on bows still screws up accuracy.  As much damage as possible must be assigned to the arrow, to prevent this.  Otherwise, all the bows will be more likely to hit your own foot than the enemy.  That is why the bows are 1 and the arrows 40, instead of the other way around.

So before anybody panics or cries about how their bows have been set to one point of damage ... the numbers still more-or-less work out.  Damage on bows is based around having some power draw skill, so they may be a little weak without it.  However, the numbers are still there.  Shoot somebody and find out - they are still quite effective in general (although zero power draw and cheap arrows could hurt you some).

(Actually, low-end arrows in RCM Native may be a couple of points low ... I'll probably get that for the next version.  I may have to lower the power draw requirements on some bows to minimize this effect as well, but not right now.)

Any mods using the RCM Native numbers may want to post this in their threads to prevent confusion.  The math still works, more or less, even if it looks funny.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on November 05, 2007, 12:04:36 AM
General announcement:

New version of RCM Native (as soon as Fujiwara gets it posted for me).  Includes hit points on horses (set kind of low, initially ... but good for testing, for now), and bow damage set inverse of what would seem logical in order to offset the far-too-large effects of power draw.

Download on the latest version should read "RCM-Native_894_versionB.zip" ... everyone using this in their mods needs to check on this, and make sure they have the new numbers on the bows and arrows.  (Make sure you get both the bows and the arrows - some got one but not the other last time, and it surely won't work out that way.)  Changes to module.ini have not been altered since last version, but this download does include an .894-compatible version of Module.ini.

Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: grailknighthero on November 05, 2007, 11:06:12 AM
Ok I have a question on a bastard sword but it is a "magic" item.  In the game/world/fluff I am getting it from(Warhammer) on a roll of a 6 on a D6 it instantly kills whoever it hit.  In the past I have put the damage rates at about 50 with armors at mostly native stats.  I have been thinking that that is too high for native stats.  What do you suggest.  I know you try to stay away from magic items but this only instantly kills on a 16.66% (? I am not sure if that is right.  Ive never had a probability class before).  What would you suggest because I plan to move to a RCM version for my mod soon.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on November 05, 2007, 06:13:27 PM
For the "magic" weapons in TLD, I gave them about a 20% bonus over their non-magic counterparts.  However, those were not supposed to represent "magic" in the sense of fire and lightning, but only superior materials or vague mystical properties.

A lot of swords in RCM are more than 50 points damage ... and getting hit with a sword should put most people down, unless they're wearing some significant armor, or unless you just don't hit them solidly.

I would have to see the whole game.  Get a feel for the balance.  Plus a better description of what this weapons is and what it does.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: grailknighthero on November 05, 2007, 06:59:24 PM
This weapon goes along the lines of "vague mystical properties."  I havent looked at the RCM stats yet so the 50 was for unmodified native stats.  My items are largely unbalanced now and I was waiting to incorporate a RCM model until I balance the items in my mod.  I am still not ready to release my mod to anyone so I know it is hard for you to come up with a good answer without testing it.  I think Ill base it off what you did with the "magic" items for TLD.  I think Ill move over to a RCM version once Fujiwara gets the latest version up.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on November 05, 2007, 07:22:07 PM
Is it still not up?  Dammit.

http://rapidshare.com/files/67733275/RCM-Native_894_versionB.zip.html

Try this.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: grailknighthero on November 05, 2007, 09:48:21 PM
Thanks.  Im going to start the conversion now.  Ive been putting off the reorganization and first attempt of balancing my items for too long.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on November 05, 2007, 10:47:30 PM
When doing balance issues, don't forget that superior items can be superior in other ways.  A blade that does relatively normal or only slightly enhanced damage can be exceptionally light and fast, or a weapon that does utterly massive damage can be tempered by the fact it is slow and has high requirements.

One of the first things most people notice about RCM mods is that weapon speed and reach are much more critical than in Native ... slow weapons are actually slow, and getting hit is bad, so striking first is usually more critical than striking harder.

Drop me a note when you have something together enough to test ... I'll look over those stats.

Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: The Yogi on November 06, 2007, 01:45:01 AM
Your new version came with impeccable timing... I was putting the finishing touches on v1.6 of the RNWS mod. Good thing I started with updating the native stats for all changes. ;) Will have a look on the new stats tonight, when I get back from work.

Once I'm done, you'll get the RCM source file (now pruned to only the relevant entries, for easier copy-pasting into other mods) for review. I'll follow your new version as closely as possible, following the assumption that the stats are right for that kind of weapon, and only the graphical representation of it was off.

One question regarding thrust damage: I notice in the previous version most weapons capable of thrusting had damage set to 35 (cut). While I can see how one point is very much like another when it comes to pushing into flesh, I wonder if another factor should not be taken into account, at least for swords and daggers;

I was thinking of the degree of taper and the length of the weapon. When reading the weapon descriptions on the Albion home page, I noticed how they emphasized "precise point control" for those very stiff, short and pointy swords, and it kind of stands to reason that a short, stiff weapon with a very narrow point would be easier to poke into an unprotected spot (an armpit or wherever)... in short, I wonder if they perhaps shouldn't be given armour-piercing capability, not from actually pushing through the armour but because they are ideally suited for exploiting chinks in it. That's what they were made for, after all.

It could be compensated by giving broader blades higher damage than narrow ones, since a narrow point will a smaller chance of causing an immediately deblitating wound than a broader one on an unproteced person.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on November 06, 2007, 02:33:42 AM
My basic assumption is that a stab wound has a relatively low chance of being immediately debilitating, unless it's just a very scary-looking blade, or exceptionally sharp, or the like.  However, nobody takes more than three or four.  That came out to about 45 points of damage on the .808 scale, and since .89x initial damage goes up to 130% or so of rated, I rounded it to 35 (plus or minus a couple of points) for .89x ...

Certain weapons do have somewhat higher or lower ratings.  The Japanese yari, which combines the shock of getting hit by a spear (a rather heavy object, by any standard of weapon-making) with the properties of a well-designed and very sharp blade, is rated noticeably higher.  The Japanese naginata is a curved blade on a polearm, and got lower stabbing properties, as getting the point driven in seemed less likely than the probability of inflicting long draw-cuts (which are ugly but much less debilitating) as the blade slid past the target.  (On a slashing attack, those two are reversed ... a naginata is a terrifying slashing blade, while the yari is generally a little light to make a decent glaive, in spite of being used that way often.)

However, between two swords, one short and one long, the added weight of the heavier would give similar effects to the added control of the shorter one.  The wounds would look a little different, but the odds of a person going down from such a wound would be similar (i.e. the attacker must be either very strong or very skilled to have a fair chance of putting someone down on the first stab wound, but few can take more than a couple, unless they are very poorly targeted).  Two or three points of difference at most.  The difference would be in speed and reach.

A true narrow point, like a rapier or stiletto, would get a rating like 17 pierce.  That is, it would puncture armor as well as the other blade, but be much less likely to inflict debilitating damage.  (Screwdriver - 12 pierce... you have to stab somebody between four and ten times with a screwdriver before they will quit fighting and lay down.)  Anything over about an inch wide and six inches long with at least one cutting edge, this would not really apply, as shock, blood loss, and damage to nerves and muscles would be significant enough to represent the higher numbers.

I did, however, make some of the point you describe ... a stab with a long, heavy sword really does no more damage than a stab with a good combat knife, while the attack with the sword is MUCH slower and therefore less likely to actually connect with the target.

Too bad M&B can't model a good knife/short sword attack, where you grab the target with your leading hand and hold him in place while making multiple stabs or hacks and/or trying to saw off a limb with long, dragging cuts.  That is where strikes against unprotected areas really come into play, as well as attacks that are much less random and actually directed against vital targets.  Maybe some day, when M&B supports secondary attacks and experts on animation are helping, it will be possible to model such things.

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

The only stat changes from the last version are the bows and arrows.  Everything else should still be good.

As for the resized weapons, whenever you have them, send them to me ... I'll take a look.


Edit:
oh yeah, and hit-points assigned to the horses, to bring the file up to .894 specs.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: grailknighthero on November 06, 2007, 06:30:50 PM
Ok I have the RCM in my mod now and I am almost speechless.  This has greatly improved my mod.  Thanks for all of the hard work putting the RCM together.

One thing I have noticed though is that the throwing axes could have a little bit longer range.  Just a few feet.  Or maybe it is just because I had 1 power throw and 40 throwing proficiency.  Otherwise everything seems fine so far.

Edit:  I think it was just because I only had power throw 1 and 40 throwing proficiency because my soldiers seem to throw them just fine.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on November 06, 2007, 10:39:21 PM
Angle the throw on your axes manually.  Set the cross-hair at like a 45 degree angle above your target.  Same for stones, and to a slightly lesser degree, javelins.  The only way to limit range is to force manual elevation by lowering velocity... so I did.  That should give the axes an effective range of 30 feet or so ... about all you get out of a thrown hatchet.


Glad you enjoy ... it's been a lot of fun to put it together.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: grailknighthero on November 30, 2007, 05:00:40 PM
Hey Ron they changed how much damage a couched lance does.  I was riding around couching people and doing 0-7 damage!  My setting was at your setting of .11.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on November 30, 2007, 06:16:39 PM
Hey Ron they changed how much damage a couched lance does.  I was riding around couching people and doing 0-7 damage!  My setting was at your setting of .11.

Clarify ... who changed what when?

Because it was intentionally set so that only substantial weapons and solid hits would result in first-hit disabling wounds.  I was trying to get rid of that effect where riding by and clipping somebody with a mop handle does a gazillion points of damage.  If your weapon was minimal, your skill low, and/or your target wearing heavy armor, the attack should not be extremely effective.  Only a very solid hit should be immediately disabling.

For medical reference on that, consider that many pedestrians and bicycles are clipped by cars every year ... and a fair number of those people walk away from the accident.  The approach speed of a charging horse is the same way ... it delivers tremendous force, but the force still has to be concentrated somewhere solid in order to have any real effect.  It's not a given that just touching them with the weapon will kill them just because you are on a horse.

However, if you mean that the code has been changed between versions and that now nothing ever works ... I need to know what version you are talking about.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: grailknighthero on November 30, 2007, 06:48:47 PM
Im talking about after I ported my version to .901 couched lancing did nothing because no matter how I hit them I did less than 10 damage and they had light armor(armor value under 30) and I had a lance that did about 30-35.  I know they have messed with couched lance damage because the RCM worked with couched lances in .894 but now it does less than 10 damage.  They also messed with how you couch as well by increasing the amount of time it takes to couch your lance.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on November 30, 2007, 07:10:35 PM
OK ... General Note:

RCM for .89x has NOT been re-calibrated for .90x

Use at your own risk.


I have not had time to go over what has been changed.  I will do that eventually, but for now, there is no RCM version for .90x Native.  You might be able to hot-wire the .894 version to run in .90x, or you might not.

On that note - any notes, observations, or comments on things that have been changed are useful.  (I'll start with that last one ... couched lance damage modifier is calculated differently.)

I will get this thing up to speed eventually, but it may take some time.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: grailknighthero on November 30, 2007, 10:23:14 PM
Take your time because who knows about how many patches there will be.  It took you awhile to get the .89x version up and it is still in the first week of the current release.  The current version is fine for me until you get a new version up although I havent tested it much but Ill make temporary changes if I see anything too distorted.  Maybe you should ask Armagan what he changed with items so you know what to fix.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on November 30, 2007, 10:33:27 PM
Take your time because who knows about how many patches there will be.  It took you awhile to get the .89x version up and it is still in the first week of the current release.  The current version is fine for me until you get a new version up although I havent tested it much but Ill make temporary changes if I see anything too distorted.  Maybe you should ask Armagan what he changed with items so you know what to fix.

Any and all help in bug-hunting always appreciated.

Asking Armagan seems to always result in a partial list or irrelevant information of some kind.  I get the feeling my attempts to communicate with him were not quite getting through.  I'll go through it trial-and-error first ... that's the most systematic way I've found so far.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: hayate666 on December 01, 2007, 02:23:03 PM
Still got my results of last test I did for RCM. I can try if I can get the same results I got before on couched lance damage and arrow damage, but perhaps there are other problems with the damage formula that need to be sorted out. What do you think Ron?
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on December 01, 2007, 06:54:26 PM
Still got my results of last test I did for RCM. I can try if I can get the same results I got before on couched lance damage and arrow damage, but perhaps there are other problems with the damage formula that need to be sorted out. What do you think Ron?

Haven't really had time to look at it yet.  Not that well, anyway.  But yeah, collect some numbers on whatever seems to be "off" ... see if we can find a pattern.


Edit:  It looks like the melee damage model is still the same from .89x - minus the changes to the lance multiplier. 
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: hayate666 on December 02, 2007, 05:36:54 AM
I've tried installing RCM for 0.91, but I wasn't able to. Apparently some meshes of some kind have changed. I'll wait with testing it untill a conversion is operational.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on December 02, 2007, 06:27:46 AM
I've tried installing RCM for 0.91, but I wasn't able to. Apparently some meshes of some kind have changed. I'll wait with testing it untill a conversion is operational.

Bunch of new items have been added.  I'll have to go over it line by line to make sure what has been changed.  Stand by ... it's been kind of a busy week.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on December 03, 2007, 09:45:36 PM
Everybody:

This should do it for .901

http://rapidshare.com/files/74147766/RCM-native_901.zip.html


Couched lance damage multiplier has been changed.  I doubled what I had before, and it seems to work ... no promises there.  Also, the new items have been added (all those books and such) so it is now compatible with 0.901 native.  Everything else seems to be pretty much the same.

As always, there may be some bugs.  Report them as you find them.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: hayate666 on December 04, 2007, 06:33:14 PM
Doubling the couched lance damage seems a bit too high. At 22, all 30 of my test targets fell in one blow at the lowest speed possible on horseback with a couched boar spear (Damage 36, PS 5). I've tested against poorly armoured mountain bandits, river pirates and farmers. I've tried somewhat lower numbers, namely 19, 17 and 15. 17 seems to generate good results so far, with 3/5th of my test subjects falling in one blow at the lowest possible speed. At 19, about 5/6th fell in one blow. It's 15 I'm happiest about however. 1/2nd of the test subjects fell in one blow at the lowest speed possible.

Worth noting: Results got more random the lower I got. At 15, results varied between 3/5th and 1/2nd, mostly depending on being bare chested or not. At 17 and 19 results were more consistent. With all the numbers the targets were dead in one blow at full speed.

Archery seems good so far. I've been shot at by a variety of projectiles while wearing Light Plate and the results are consistent with what I found earlier. Javelins to the head hurt :green:

I've noticed one oddity. Some weapons vary largely between no damage at all or a one hit kill. Especially the two handed weapons seem to suffer from this. Might just be a coincidence though, since I didn't notice anything strange while I let myself be mobstabbed by crossbowmen with two-handed cutting weapons. Damage was 0 most of the time, sometimes between 5 and 9 and very rarely it was around 40. The jump between 9 and 40 seems a bit high.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on December 04, 2007, 10:30:52 PM
Actually, the large variation is quite realistic.  When armor (any armor) gets hit with a weapon (any weapon), one of several things could happen.  The armor could deflect or completely absorb the blow - 0 damage.  The armor could mostly or partially stop the blow, resulting in very low damage, either from the weapon or from the impact between the armor and the wearer.  Or, if the weapon does actually cut a place on the armor in such a way that it contacts meat, the damage will still be very serious.

Realistically, the difference between them is more a question of strike placement, good form, strength of the user, and the like than it is a question of the weapon.  For example, in modern crime, every stabbing does not do equal damage - issues of who is attacking, how they attack, and just plain old dumb luck can make huge differences.  Likewise, hacking with a sword could do the same thing - two seemingly equal cuts could be one that hits a hard plate on the armor and deflects, and a second that hits a soft spot and goes through with substantial remaining force.  A skilled attacker will encourage the latter, but that is far from assured.

So that variation is intentional, and as it were, one of the initial objectives of the RCM project.

-------------------------
On the lance numbers, your results seem a little better than mine.  Did you have some points in power-strike?  Or relatively high skill?

Be sure and test against some medium armors as well.  A decent lance or spear from horse should be at least moderately effective against medium armors.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: hayate666 on December 05, 2007, 01:30:04 AM
I tested it with power strike 5 and 100 skill in polearms. It's a bit higher than the 3 I usually test with, but players that are dedicated to melee shouldn't have any trouble getting up to that rather quickly. I'll test it against medium armor somewhat later. It takes a little more time, because those damn sea raiders hurt. Hitting them at low speeds is practically impossible. 
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: hayate666 on December 05, 2007, 06:11:24 PM
I've tested several values in mounted combat and against sea raiders and I feel a bit different about the damage multiplier now. 17 seems best. At 15, hardly anybody died within one blow. At 17, charging uphill won't get me any kills, but straight on speed hits on flat ground or downhill will give me a of about 75%. Less for chain, more for light armour. If needed, I can test somewhat more tomorrow.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on December 05, 2007, 06:37:16 PM
Is that still at Power Strike 5 and around 100 skill?

Because PS 5 sounds like pretty serious troops ... and I fear that someone with zero power strike will be unable to do anything with a lance.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: hayate666 on December 05, 2007, 06:41:48 PM
Hmm. I'll start a new game then, just to be sure about it. Should be able to show you results by the day after tomorrow.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on December 05, 2007, 07:59:55 PM
Hmm. I'll start a new game then, just to be sure about it. Should be able to show you results by the day after tomorrow.

No hurry.  If we're within a few points, it won't matter much.

Honestly, having it within the nearest 5 points or so would probably be close enough for game balance issues.  It's only when it's three times too high that there's a real issue.  (Or 20 times too high, like in Native.)

Everything else seems pretty good.  I'm relatively happy with the results so far.

(If I can just get the mods that are using it straightened out.  Pirates of Calradia, over on Taleworlds, tried to implement RCM and totally screwed it up.  Hopefully, we'll have that back in line soon enough... because what they have on their beta is unplayable.)
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: hayate666 on December 10, 2007, 06:48:01 AM
I've spent some time testing again with a new character and I'm currently undecided about the results. Values of 22, 21 and 20 all yielded workable results, so it's down to what you think about them Ron. I've tested it with polearm skill 100, Power Strike 0 and a common spear.

At 22 and 21, every character wearing light or no armor was down in one blow at full speed. At the lowest speeds, none died at all. At 20, one survived at full speed, but I think it was because I was climbing a very low hill. More of a bump really. Lower speeds yielded the same results. Against medium armour, results varied slightly, but not that noticable. 20 felt a bit too light and 22 a bit too heavy, but I wasn't able to gather anything conclusive. With some points in power strike, 20 would suffice just as well as 21 or 22 would.

In all cases, doing real damage boiled down to moving at full speed and avoiding the bumps in the terrain. If the damage multiplier was down a couple of points, skills would add some randomness to the results until power strike comes up a bit. Still, speed and riding head on remain the most important aspects of doing damage. My feeling tells me 20 is the value to go with, but I can't really put solid results behind it to back it up.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on December 10, 2007, 07:06:31 AM
That was about what I came up with, except that based on some work by modern historians and some traffic accident reports, I'm going to have to go with the higher of that set.  (22 - back where I had it set originally.)  It doesn't take all that much speed to add up to a lot of damage... even a 10mph impact hurts a LOT, and that's not accounting for a spear point mixed up in the impact.

I mean, lance charge should be somewhat effective even against very heavy armors, provided the attacker had good form (skill, power strike) and the blow was landed solidly.  Not uniformly critical, but "somewhat" effective at least.  That one or two points doesn't look like much, but it should be the difference between "somewhat effective" and "largely ineffective" against the heavier armors.

Anyway, you see how much difference the power strike skill makes?  That's been the plague of the RCM all the way through... it's uniformly added damage that is not really affected by any of the randomizing factors, and so it makes the whole glancing blow concept difficult to model.  It sort of makes sense, but it's a pain to figure statistics around it.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: hayate666 on December 10, 2007, 05:22:28 PM
Power strike mattered more than I imagined. Perhaps there's a solution to it though. The new module.ini has an entry that's called soak against several kinds of attacks. I don't know what it does exactly, but perhaps it can account for some of the damage from the Power strike skill. The effect will be greater for soldiers in heavy armor, because leather and cloth are already doing next to nothing against serious weapons.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on December 10, 2007, 09:28:41 PM
The percentage damage absorption on armor is completely unusable, as far as I can tell.  It calculates this way:

If you set the percentage value to 1.0, and have 50 points of armor, that means the armor will absorb 50% of damage against it.  Now, hit from scalpel - 10 points - armor absorbs 5.  Hit from huge sword from moving horse 80 points, armor absorbs 40. 

Now, I can't think of any materials that get stronger the harder you hit them.  Anything that will take a blow from a large, heavy weapon should be completely impervious to minor stuff.  It just doesn't add up.


However, by taking a couple of points off of the damage to account for the attacker just being weak or having bad form, I think I've mostly covered for the power strike thing.  Not an elegant solution, but a solution.

I think we're good to go, for now.  That's a very good thing, because there are a bunch more mods just about to need this data.
Title: Re: Realistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Duuvian on December 22, 2007, 01:35:53 AM
Two quick ones Ron:

First, is RCM for native .903 in the works? Onin No Ran makes me greedy for more carnage.

Also, have you asked Winter for your own little RCM forum? In my opinion its deserving of it's own Major Mods forum. You could include RCM and the realistic sized weapons and consolidate them to one forum. Plus you might not have to watch 4+ forums at once as you must occasionally be forced to do, heh.
Title: Re: Realistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on December 22, 2007, 02:42:46 AM
Two quick ones Ron:

First, is RCM for native .903 in the works? Onin No Ran makes me greedy for more carnage.

Also, have you asked Winter for your own little RCM forum? In my opinion its deserving of it's own Major Mods forum. You could include RCM and the realistic sized weapons and consolidate them to one forum. Plus you might not have to watch 4+ forums at once as you must occasionally be forced to do, heh.

There's no reason why RCM for any of the .90x versions wouldn't work with .903 - you might have to change that last line in the Module.ini file, but I'm sure just about anybody could handle that.

This link should still be good (although I didn't re-test it just now):
http://rapidshare.com/files/74147766/RCM-native_901.zip.html


And RCM retrofit to Native is not really intended to be a playable mod.  I built the thing as a developers' resource for other mods wanting to use or experiment with the RCM scale.  (Yogi's realistic weapons sizes package does have RCM stats for Native weapons as an option, although there were some bugs in the last version.)

However, I must point out that I have no real desire to make RCM-Native into a playable mod.  My interests in modding lie with OnR, followed immediately by Mesoamerica, Holy War, and the RCM package for TLD (with up-and-coming Pirates of Calradia and Peloponesian War on Taleworlds going to RCM as well), plus a handful of other misc. projects.  Most of those mods have threads dedicated to the RCM project specific to their mod, which tend to make for a more reliable way to categorize the projects.

The RCM-Native project is a test platform and demonstration, and as such, this one thread is probably quite adequate for that function.

And I have to watch four forums at once anyway ... I also do graphics and content work for those other mods.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Duuvian on December 23, 2007, 11:41:59 PM
Thanks. I appreciate it.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on January 17, 2008, 12:23:33 AM
General notice:

Pirates of Calradia (hosted on Taleworlds) is now out, and in a relatively stable version.  Features the first working M&B ship combat, and catapults to bomb things in a siege.

It was a fight, but we have working RCM there.  (What should have been a two-minute plug-in job turned into a month of messing around ... it's a long story.)

Highly recommended for all fans of RCM-Native.
 
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: italiano on January 28, 2008, 11:07:17 AM
Quote
Anyway, you see how much difference the power strike skill makes?  That's been the plague of the RCM all the way through... it's uniformly added damage that is not really affected by any of the randomizing factors, and so it makes the whole glancing blow concept difficult to model.

Is it modeled with the power skills in mind? I'm looking to use RCM for my mod but since the mod doesn't make use of power skills I was wondering how that would affect RCM.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on January 28, 2008, 12:23:02 PM
Quote
Anyway, you see how much difference the power strike skill makes?  That's been the plague of the RCM all the way through... it's uniformly added damage that is not really affected by any of the randomizing factors, and so it makes the whole glancing blow concept difficult to model.

Is it modeled with the power skills in mind? I'm looking to use RCM for my mod but since the mod doesn't make use of power skills I was wondering how that would affect RCM.

Crud ... um, what do you mean it "doesn't use them"?  None at all, or everybody gets 2 points and forget it, or what?

If everybody has zero power strike, the armor will just seem a little strong, but otherwise the game will run.  The bows and thrown weapons are built around the M&B power-draw/throw, and would have to be completely redesigned... with questionable results on the stronger bows, considering how M&B kills accuracy with higher damage on bows.

Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Eugenioso on January 29, 2008, 06:49:43 PM
do you mind telling me if this RCM is available for .903?
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on January 29, 2008, 07:25:50 PM
do you mind telling me if this RCM is available for .903?


Just answered that about 4 posts earlier ... the most recent version works fine in .903.  The only thing is that the last line in the module.ini file may need to be changed, so it won't give you the error message about the wrong version.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Fisheye on February 03, 2008, 12:18:52 PM
Ron:

Based on your tests, do all points of PD count towards damage bonus or just the points above the bow's power draw rating? There someone on Taleworlds yammering on about how it's the latter and he's checked and tested it, I'm a bit confused so I consult the expert here.

E.g. I have PD 6, using a bow PD 2, do I get 6x12=72% damage bonus or (6-2)x12=48% damage bonus?
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on February 03, 2008, 02:17:23 PM
In .80x and before, it was just the points above the bow's PD requirement.  In .90x it appears to have been changed to include all points, and also increased to 12% per point.  This, of course, completely screwed up my combat model, and resulted in the current RCM official hack of a work-around, where the stronger bows are actually rated lower damage than the lighter ones.

I almost pulled out my hair trying to figure out what they did to me.

Let's just say I'm none too happy about that.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: mfhberg on February 04, 2008, 09:58:22 AM
In my variations on RCM I have included a 20-40 point resistance in shields, with a strength value of about 100 or so. Any of the shield piercers go through them quickly, but they are useful for a little while. I have been thinking of picking up the resistance to 35-50 to make it much more difficult to knock them apart with most weapons and keeping them useful for a little longer against bows.

Have you see any shield tests done on real shields?

mfberg
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on February 04, 2008, 11:44:40 AM
Latest RCM version, I went to armor/resistance ratings on the shields of roughly 60 for a good wood shield, plus or minus 20 depending on the construction - solid steel would get about 100.  Then I gave them hit points between 30 and 60/70 ... more hit-points if it was thick or heavy.

Using those numbers, there is pretty much always a chance that a shield could be broken by a heavy weapon impact, or disabled because it had a fool javelin sticking out of it.  However, just wearing a shield out by pelting it with pebbles or sawing on it with a dagger seems unlikely.

I based this roughly on what it takes to split light boards or plywood with hand axes or industrial hammers.  That is, it's not easy, but if you do split one, you completely split it ... you don't just wear it out, like chopping down a tree.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: italiano on February 10, 2008, 07:23:28 PM
Quote
Crud ... um, what do you mean it "doesn't use them"?  None at all, or everybody gets 2 points and forget it, or what?

If everybody has zero power strike, the armor will just seem a little strong, but otherwise the game will run.  The bows and thrown weapons are built around the M&B power-draw/throw, and would have to be completely redesigned... with questionable results on the stronger bows, considering how M&B kills accuracy with higher damage on bows.

I mean it doesn't use them at all. I had originally intended to keep power throw/draw and 2-3 levels of power strike, but in the end I just decided to increase the weapon proficiencies (they increase speed + damage?). I'll put power draw and throw back in if needed but some quick testing suggested it could work. Power strike is definitely out though. I should point out that iron flesh is removed and that experience gain for the player and other soldiers is extremely slow, so soldiers don't have as many hit points as they would in other versions of the game. Also, blocking skills are quite high and the effect I wanted was for strikes to be more lethal but harder to perform successfully.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on February 10, 2008, 08:27:59 PM
I mean it doesn't use them at all. I had originally intended to keep power throw/draw and 2-3 levels of power strike, but in the end I just decided to increase the weapon proficiencies (they increase speed + damage?). I'll put power draw and throw back in if needed but some quick testing suggested it could work. Power strike is definitely out though. I should point out that iron flesh is removed and that experience gain for the player and other soldiers is extremely slow, so soldiers don't have as many hit points as they would in other versions of the game. Also, blocking skills are quite high and the effect I wanted was for strikes to be more lethal but harder to perform successfully.

OK ... it will work, if you do the following:

On bows, add about 4 points of damage for what would have been the minimum level of PD, plus two levels (i.e. the average).  So if the bow was damage 10 and min PD 0, add two levels damage 18.  If it was damage 5 and PD 2, (4x4=16, +5) 21.  That will convert it, sort of.  May need a little tweaking, but it will be close.  (I just did that in my head... I may be off by a few points.)

For thrown weapons, add about 15%.  That won't convey the message that a professional thrower can make the weapons effective while most people can't, but it will balance the game.

The iron flesh thing didn't add enough hit points to make that much difference anyway, unless they had 10 levels of it.  Not against the RCM damage numbers.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: italiano on February 10, 2008, 10:44:26 PM
Thanks, I'll try it out.

Quote
That won't convey the message that a professional thrower can make the weapons effective while most people can't

Won't weapon proficiency simulate that a certain degree? Standard proficiency is starting at no less than about 140 so the player will be decent enough to use missile weapons in combat. Weapon Master is maxed from the start so the rate of gain in proficiencies will be greater in the early game.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on February 11, 2008, 12:06:33 AM
Yeah, OK, skill bonus ... in this case generally larger skill bonus, will do the same thing in a different way.

By the way, what is "your mod" - is it released?  Should I list it among the RCM mods?
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: italiano on February 11, 2008, 07:45:34 AM
M&B: Realism and it's not released yet.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on February 11, 2008, 08:33:12 AM
M&B: Realism and it's not released yet.

Roger that ... remind me when it releases, I'll review it, and then list it among the RCM mods at the beginning of this thread.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: italiano on February 21, 2008, 10:26:39 AM
Are you aware of any changes between module_items for .894 and that in the .903 version? I added the books and cattle meat but I received an rgl error: get object failed for bo_village_wall_a. I remember receiving this error once before but can't remember what caused it or how I solved it. I compared the RCM file with the native file and didn't see any problems. Any idea?
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on February 21, 2008, 06:29:51 PM
Are you aware of any changes between module_items for .894 and that in the .903 version? I added the books and cattle meat but I received an rgl error: get object failed for bo_village_wall_a. I remember receiving this error once before but can't remember what caused it or how I solved it. I compared the RCM file with the native file and didn't see any problems. Any idea?

Strange.  Was it a problem with the module_items.py, or the Module.ini file?  Because usually "get_object_failed" is from something missing in the Module.ini ... in which case, you can make the weapons scale changes to the new module.ini and fix it.

Come to think of it, I'm sure something was added to module.ini between .894 and .901 - can't remember what.  But it crashed a RCM version for me, and I had to add the new "resource" lines.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: italiano on February 22, 2008, 03:05:08 AM
It was a missing resource:

Code: [Select]
load_resource = village_houses_b
Thanks, you just saved me a lot of time. It's always something simple  :lol:
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on February 22, 2008, 04:12:42 AM
It was a missing resource:

Code: [Select]
load_resource = village_houses_b
Thanks, you just saved me a lot of time. It's always something simple  :lol:

Pretty much all problems are shallow if you get enough eyes on them.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: italiano on February 23, 2008, 09:46:53 AM
I'm experiencing a problem in combat where it ends up turning into a moshpit of ineffective attacks. I would guess this is a result of most troops being armed with spears and not leaving enough range for the attack to be effective. I was experiencing this before adding RCM, but I was wondering if you have any possible solutions.

Also, is there anything you would change if you didn't have to worry about plate armour?
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on February 23, 2008, 08:47:36 PM
The plate armor in Native is not adequately handled anyway.  If I DID have to worry about heavy armor in general, I would give more troops anti-armor-type weapons (hammers and axes, and heavier ones) to deal with it.  As it is, troops are already armed like they are expecting little or no armor.

As for spears being ineffective on attackers who get too close ... well, that's how the Roman Legions beat the Greek and Macedonian spearmen.  (If the Hoplites were like a pincushion, the Legions were more like a buzz-saw.)  That's why George Silver said that a polearm over about 8 feet long was ineffective.  That's why the Japanese samurai carried two swords, even if their primary weapon was a bow or spear.  That is just part of life.  Maybe you should try NOT arming just everybody with spears, or at least giving them backup weapons.  (The new AI is better about switching weapons, although still not perfect.)  Nor are most spears particularly good against armor, unless driven in by the speed of a charging horse ... fighting heavily armored troops will require something with more penetrating power (awlpike, halberd, or axes and hammers, or just go to crossbows).

Spears do give a certain advantage in reach, which can be quite formidable if used well ... but their weakness is a painful one, and one you will pay for.  Especially if the enemy doesn't play along.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: italiano on February 24, 2008, 01:55:08 PM
It's not the realism aspect I'm worried about with spears, it's just that in the game it lead to an endless swamping of indecisive attacks. 50 troops might surround two and not be able to kill them because they aren't leaving enough room to produce an effective attack. It's an AI problem and not a problem with the settings, but unfortunately I can't change the AI. Most troops were armed with spears so it's a weapon I can't ignore.

Quote
Maybe you should try NOT arming just everybody with spears, or at least giving them backup weapons

Switching between spears and other weapons? From what I've seen they would go for other melee weapons over the spear, and I don't think you can guarantee they have both weapons (unless there's a "guarantee_polearm that I'm missing).
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on February 24, 2008, 07:54:06 PM
When troops spawn, they will have a couple of weapons out of the list in their "troops" file.  There's no way to be sure what these weapons will be, but by adding a few non-spear weapons, you will surely get a few guys with other types of weapons in the mix.  That should be enough to help break up the mob effect.  Adding glaives or pole-axes of some sort could help too.  (I did some decent pole-axe and pole-hammer models for Yogi's weapon resize ... low-poly, native textures, but they look better than the stone weapons in Native.)

However, again, if you want realism ... how many modern riots result in rioters pouring bodies against a police shield wall until neither the rioters or the police can strike effectively?  They don't do it on purpose ... it's an element of crowd dynamics.  Whenever you get a lot of people together, there's always a very good chance that attacks will become ineffective due to issues of proper range.

The best thing you can do, for game purposes, is to add a few thrown weapons to the infantry.  That's how we solved it in OnR.  That will both fix the problem of infantry following a horse like a string of baby ducks, and the issue of a mob of infantry running into a mob of other infantry and stopping.  And it's historical ... the fransisca axes, the Roman pilum and plumbata, the Japanese practice of hurling stones before any infantry engagement - everybody really did this.  It's because humans really don't want to get any closer to guys who are trying to kill them.  (Same reason guns are more popular for crimes, even though blades are faster and more deadly than any production handgun - they allow both psychological and physical distance between you and your target.)

As long as you don't use the "guarantee ranged" flag, they will still be listed as infantry instead of archer in the command menu.  (Fixed from previous M&B versions.)

Does that help?
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Agent Griff on March 21, 2008, 06:36:17 AM
I see you haven't changed a bit Ron. Still advocating your knives eh? Well, old habits die hard. I haven't been active here for some time, a year I think, but I've now gotten back to Mount & Blade...and as usual I find the combat system extremely disappointing. There's only so much a man can take before he feels the need to use RCM. In my case at least, once you've gone RCM there's no turning back. I hate the mock-RCM combat system the vanilla version has. Sadly, most mods also have this inferior combat system.

Anyway, as I said, I found myself craving for RCM and I've found it in few mods thus far. Only Pirates of Calradia to be exact. I've played Onin No Ran's latest version as well but, oddly enough, the combat feels just the same as vanilla. Do you have to enable RCM manually or am I just hallucinating? Anyway, my question is, what mods have RCM up and running? I'm tired of all this vanilla rubbish.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on March 21, 2008, 08:55:21 AM
ONR is the original RCM mod... there is no other version of it.  It is my work, and I will stand by it.

The only possible reason it might feel funny is the odd balance of Asiatic armor and weapons, which if you're thinking European stuff, may not perform exactly as intended.  However, you only have to lay a good blade into an unarmored target once to realize that it is still there.  I am actually very proud of its technical accuracy - it is a much better damage simulation than the RCM-Native version (also seen in Pirates of Calradia).  The next release (probably this week) has a number of much more historically accurate weapons in it - my models and textures, research by the rest of the ONR team - and should be even better, if you really like realism.  (Also brilliant new shaders by mtarini ... be sure to check them out.)  But you do need to know something about Japan to really follow what's going on, or it can be very confusing.  (Fujiwara hopes to have some online help for future versions.)

Effective .89x, M&B has changed the way that damage is calculated.  Extremely long strikes do substantially more damage than short, fast ones.  If you are not using the attack commands to your best advantage, it can be a little confusing compared to the .808 versions.  Also power strike and the like are now stronger, as are skill bonuses - forcing base damage to be lowered a little to maintain balance.  But the numbers still balance out in the long run, once you get used to the minor variations.  These variations could be what's throwing you off ... but the latest RCM Native numbers were converted to the new model the same way as ONR. (I have a conversion formula - took me two weeks of pretty much pulling out my hair to create it.)  So there is no reason to think ONR and RCM-Native were substantially different models... except for the technical differences in the equipment.

More will follow - TLD, Mesoamerica, and Holy War are all more or less waiting on the final M&B version... work is still being done on TLD, but the others are mostly on hold.  Until work resumes on them, well, the .808 versions still work (except HW, where the only .808 was a dev version).  Cartred's "peasants" was using RCM last I knew, but the simplified weapons loadout made balance a little funny.  Highlander's Wild West mod uses RCM numbers, if you care to try a firearms mod ... if he ever got a 100% playable release together (haven't checked lately - and why it's not listed on the front of this thread).  Nema's Guardians Party still uses RCM base numbers on the few realistic items in the game, but you need hallucinogenic drugs to really enjoy that one.

The RCM-Native version (posted above, if the link is still good) will run on a copy of Native, although you may need to change the version number at the end of the Module.ini file, to prevent the annoying error message about it being the wrong version.  Although if you like the Native items, Pirates of Calradia uses them plus a few good enhancements ... no reason not to stay with it.

Everything else is ... well, I will do RCM conversions by request, but I'm not pushing them, because I'm tired of dealing with annoying people.  If you want to see more, convince the developers of your favorite mods to look me up.  I won't go hunting for them.  I don't need the stress in my life.

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

And "advocate" is not exactly the word ... I WARN people about the lethality of edged weapons.  "Advocate" would suggest that I was advising people to commit homocides as a career path.  Realistically, I generally point out that violence, unless absolutely necessary, is seldom a good long-term survival strategy.  But I often point out that underestimating a knife (or a person willing to use one) is about the fastest way to get killed that I can think of, short of deliberate suicide.  I "advocate" getting out of those places before you actually see weapons being drawn, or if you absolutely must neutralize a knife-armed opponent, responding with the most overwhelming degree of deadly force that you can effectively generate.  Any other response is just creating work for the forensics guys, hunting for your body parts. 

The only time I "advocate" using an edged weapon is when there is a real probability of finding yourself in an unavoidable extreme-close-quarters combat situation ... and that fortunately is not a major problem for most people most of the time.  (If this is a problem you have, and major lifestyle changes are not really an option, well... I guess I "advocate" edged weapon use there - certainly a more effective option than pepper spray.)  Even then, I strongly suggest you not spend any more time engaged in combat than is absolutely necessary to secure your route of escape.  Not only are there legal and ethical drawbacks to staying and fighting, but as George Patton put it, "death in combat is merely a factor of time" ... the sooner you get out, the better your odds will be.

If the situation can be avoided at all, I advocate running.  Courage is for people who are bad at math.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Agent Griff on March 23, 2008, 01:06:27 PM
Then I'll try to champion your cause to some modders whose mods I find to be tasteful. Hopefully I might convince one or maybe two of them to ask for optional RCM, at the least. I wouldn't lose all hope yet, but I wouldn't be jubilating either. Anyway, you don't seem like the sort to care much for such things. You do seem to like having something to work with on your hands, though. I may be wrong. Never cease to correct me if I'm wrong.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on March 23, 2008, 06:53:50 PM
Yeah, I like to stay busy.  And my job, for all it's benefits, certainly does NOT involve staying busy.  (Having like 5 months of paid vacation a year and working less than 20 hours a week even when you work sounds really cool ... until you realize that it can be mind-numbingly boring.)  So major setbacks in mod work around here, like many of them waiting for M&B 1.0, tend to ruin my favorite hobby.

Several mods that are not ready yet have expressed interest in the RCM ... but they're just not ready yet.  I talked to Lynores about "Peloponesian War" over on Taleworlds, but he may NEVER get ready for a release.  Highlander's Wild West mod is using RCM numbers, but my involvement after the first round conversions has been minimal... and I talked to him about taking a look at the "Paleolithic" items, if he ever gets back to porting that to .90x or later.  Most of the major mods over here are waiting for M&B 1.0 before they get too serious ... so it's not a point of IF (since they are already RCM, either full or optional), but when they will get back to me.  Things have been said about a few others ...

And several of the guys got busy and we never got back to the "mod of mods" project "Cult of the Big Lizard" ... which was too bad, because it was going to be a lot of fun to build, with all the fantasy weapons, comic dialog, fancy features and unique interface.  But I just don't have the skills to keep it going, myself ... the all-star team (Scion, Fisheye, Highlander, Ursca, and myself, plus a few other contributors) was an absolute must, to attack something that big.

Beyond those, I don't really know which other mods would classify as suitable for anything.  There's a bunch of mini-mods and startup projects out there, but we'll have to wait and see which ones materialize into functional mods.  While I wish them luck, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting.

But if you see one that has promise ... feel free to ask the dev team if they would be interested.  I'll convert them if people are interested.  Meanwhile, I'll be putting most of my mod work into ONR for a while.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Dain Ironfoot on March 24, 2008, 05:13:43 PM


Several mods that are not ready yet have expressed interest in the RCM ... but they're just not ready yet.  I talked to Lynores about "Peloponesian War" over on Taleworlds, but he may NEVER get ready for a release.


I must speak out at this. I think this is hugely unfair considering the level of work he is doing pretty much solo, and his current devlopment time. And as you yourself have said many times, modding is meant to be fun. So it's not to you to judge how he's doing in terms of progress.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on March 24, 2008, 05:29:39 PM


Several mods that are not ready yet have expressed interest in the RCM ... but they're just not ready yet.  I talked to Lynores about "Peloponesian War" over on Taleworlds, but he may NEVER get ready for a release.


I must speak out at this. I think this is hugely unfair considering the level of work he is doing pretty much solo, and his current devlopment time. And as you yourself have said many times, modding is meant to be fun. So it's not to you to judge how he's doing in terms of progress.

I'm not criticizing him for being slow ... merely stating a fact.  He is building it mostly solo, and trying to model every building in the entire ancient world, and he's going to be a while.  Possibly years.  It's fine work - if it was not, I would not have offered to help.  But it's still going to be a while... and there's not much anyone can do about it.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on April 03, 2008, 03:20:54 AM
Attention RCM fans and previous beta testers:

"A Song of Ice and Fire" is converting to RCM, and will be ready for first-round beta tests of same within a few days.  Anyone who can help out, put your name on the "Beta Testers Wanted" thread.  For fans of the ships, it is also incorporating the "Pirates of Calradia" ship code, which could also use a bucket load of testing. 

This one is going to have a few bugs.  (The item file looked like it had been scrambled, and I've been having trouble concentrating on the stats.)  It would be better if we had some testers who had been following the RCM projects for a while now.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Sparehawk on April 03, 2008, 04:47:00 AM
Attention RCM fans and previous beta testers:

"A Song of Ice and Fire" is converting to RCM, and will be ready for first-round beta tests of same within a few days.  Anyone who can help out, put your name on the "Beta Testers Wanted" thread.  For fans of the ships, it is also incorporating the "Pirates of Calradia" ship code, which could also use a bucket load of testing. 

Just to avoid misunderstanding, ships-related changes not finished yet, so first phase of testing will include only Ron's changes. I'm planning to announce ships beta in a week or two.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on April 27, 2008, 07:26:23 PM
General announcement:

M&B .950 is out.  Damage model is still pretty screwed up, so as soon as we get the module system for the blasted thing, I'll see what I can do about a new RCM-Native version.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Shik on April 27, 2008, 11:31:28 PM
I guess you could just edit the items.txt file for now, but that would be extra work since you are going to be editing the .py files in the end anyways.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on April 27, 2008, 11:48:57 PM
I guess you could just edit the items.txt file for now, but that would be extra work since you are going to be editing the .py files in the end anyways.

The items.txt file is not 100% human readable.  RCM adds or changes a lot of functions (like how certain weapons can be used) that can be a real pain to edit manually, even if you enjoy that sort of thing (which I would not).  I heard there was a new unofficial items editor, but I don't know which versions it works for, and I'm sure it would take more doing than the Python code.

Plus I need to run a few tests to make sure the calculations haven't been changed again ... and I'm not even sure I feel up to that today anyway.

Give it a few days.  They'll get us the Module System files soon enough.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Lectus on July 26, 2008, 12:55:35 PM
Not to be impatient, but is this coming out for native anytime soon?
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on July 26, 2008, 09:37:45 PM
Not to be impatient, but is this coming out for native anytime soon?

Like most of the major mods, the plan was really to wait for M&B 1.0 ... which is expected any time.

Realistically speaking, this RCM/Native package is not really long-term playable on its own, since troops are not armed properly to create realistic balance.  Therefore the package is really only a demonstration and programmer's resource for other mods.  Since none of the Major Mods are planning a port before 1.0, I really have little reason to mess with it before then.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: The Yogi on September 13, 2008, 03:26:42 PM
Hi Ron,

I've happened to come across some pretty interesting pictures. They're illuminations from the Maciejowski Bible, ca 1250 AD. Anyway, what is interesting about them is that they seem to represent, pretty consistently, mail being cut - there are several instances of mailed arms having been amputated and also mail-clad casualties pierced by sword and dagger.

Since as far as I understand, tests at the Royal Armoury have more or less proven that there was no way to cut or pierce well made riveted mail with swords from the era, this called my attention. I wonder if those test have failed to take something into account or if the illuminatior simply embellished things a bit (although he's supposedly very accurate when it comes to arms and armour)?

Anyway, thought this might have bearing on the protective properties of mail in RCM.

(http://home-4.worldonline.nl/~t401243/mac/mac11rA.jpg)
stabbed with dagger through mail (middle bottom)

(http://home-4.worldonline.nl/~t401243/mac/mac23vA.jpg)
severed mailed arm (bottom right), also helms cut through by swords

(http://www1.tip.nl/~t401243/mac/mac41rB.jpg)
severed mailed arm, severed head (bottom left) with mail protection, stabbed with dagger through mail (bottom center)

(http://www.medievaltymes.com/courtyard/images/maciejowski/leaf10/otm10va&b.gif)
This one has a strange twohander sword, almost looks Japanese, cuts a mailed warrior in two. Also severed heads with mail protection

Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on September 13, 2008, 08:29:46 PM
It's simple.  One, a blow of sufficient force will go through just about anything - it's just a matter of delivering that degree of force.  And two, mail comes in all sizes and weights, and its protective value is pretty much merely an issue of mass of metal between the weapon and the wearer.

Therefore, yes, it is possible for one test to show mail armor as quite impossible to cut, and then some big guy to ride by on a fast-moving horse and lay a really heavy sword into someone and cut him completely in half.  Armored troops were not safe - the classic example being the skeleton at the Visby digs that had both legs severed on a single blow, apparently through armor (as the body was buried still wearing scraps of the destroyed armor).  It would match my own tests as well, where mail of reasonable weight fares very well against light blades or slicing motions, but as the weapon gets heavier and the attack more solid, protective properties become less reliable.  That does not discount the value of the armor, as it still greatly reduces the effectiveness of many attacks, even if it does not completely protect from the most serious.  Nor does it discount the concept of chain armors, just because one piece was too light for the impact that it got.

My personal favorite test was to lay the armor on a board and hit it with a hatchet.  That's a pretty common test used by a lot of people who check things like this.  Any armor that can take a blow like that can probably take anything the modern world can dish out, up to and including smaller handgun rounds.  Depending on the exact design, weight of wire and diameter of rings used, about half of chain armors will fail that test.  Most modern plastic hardhats also fail, as do most Kevlar vests rated less than 3a (worse for those not including wire-mesh knife-resistant layers).  That would be roughly equivalent to getting hit solidly with a heavy sword.

You see the same thing with modern bulletproof vests - sometimes a round goes through, especially if it's more firepower than the vest is rated to take, or if it gets hit twice in the same spot.  Those who use them accept this fact.  It's only a surprise to people who have never seen this process in action, who then can't understand 1. how the bullet went through, or 2. why they bother to wear vests that won't stop a bullet.  Fact is, the vest catches a lot of stuff, usually ... but it's not perfect.

What the illustrations do show is something the RCM was made to simulate - if the armor does fail, the meat below does not provide much resistance.  That is something I've tried to say often.

Anyway, yeah, good question ... but the response is probably more simple than you had hoped.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: The Yogi on September 13, 2008, 11:24:43 PM
Thanks for the answer. Actually, that was more or less what I once figured, that with enough force (for examply from a ride-by), you could punch through even a suit of well-made mail. It was only lately that I've heard a lot of how it was impossible to cut through mail and all that got through was blunt damage. Interesting to see my original guess was closer to the money.

In the thread about battle dismemberment at the TW forum, someone made the interesting comparison between hitting a thin branch with a stick while it's still on the three - it will then be cut straight off. Try to place that same branch on the ground and hit it with the same stick. You'll never cut through it. I wonder if those Royal Armoury test failed to take into account that effect.

I've read about the Visby corpse (Medieveal Swordmanship, John Clements) but it wasn't said wether it had armour on the legs or not. I saw some of those bodies at the medieval museum of Stockholm though, among them a skull still in a rusted mail coif (very impressive). According to that exhibit  most skeletons found at Visby did wear some form of protection, which was considered odd since the dead were usally stripped of their armour. A theory was that there had been so many dead and it was such a hot day that they had began to stink too much for the buriers to stomach stripping them. Another possibility was that Visby being just conquered by the victorious danes, the citizens of Visby didn't bother to strip the armour since they weren't going to be allowed to keep it anyway.

Good for us and our knowledge though.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on September 14, 2008, 12:30:29 AM
Yeah, the dead at Visby were stripped of anything valuable ... most everything that was left was either extremely low quality, or badly damaged, or both.  The best examples of "extremely low quality" being the now infamous "Visby plate" armors - proof that with some sheets of scrap iron and a carpet, ANYBODY can build pretty sturdy body armor in a matter of minutes.  The "badly damaged" would be like the mail that had been repeatedly cut or punched through, to the point that it would be as expensive to repair it as to start over.  While it might be possible to salvage such, for the scrap iron if nothing else, it was hardly worth the trouble.

I forget what kind of leg armor was on the one that cut through both legs, but I remember there was apparently something on them.  That's why it left such an impression - someone had some very good cutting technique to inflict damage like that.  You would expect that sort of thing out of the Japanese, but it caused a lot of people to rethink how much actual technique went into European sword work.  It stood in rather sharp contrast to the "club each other with blunt objects" approach that apparently dominated the tournament duels (which were sport and done with blunt weapons).

A lot of damage that went through armor was blunt trauma, or a combination of minor penetration and associated blunt trauma, or armor bending or fragmentation (i.e. blade doesn't cut armor, but it does cause armor to spall, embedding metal fragments in the wearer).  (One of the reasons maille armors were popular for so long - they can't be bent in ways that crush the wearer, the way rigid trauma plates can.)  All of these were possibilities, as well as the two extremes (weapon bounces off, or weapon goes through armor like paper).  Under any given set of conditions, any or all of the above become more or less probable.  There would be little way to predict which - something as slight as how well the target was balanced at the moment of impact could make the difference between him falling down but being relatively unhurt, or being cut in half.

True limb amputations, and even partial amputations, are generally immediate kills.  The shock, pain, and immediate drop in blood pressure are usually enough that few people could do more than lay on the ground and whimper, and maybe try to slow the bleeding, even if they did not immediately pass out from shock.  The guys who wanted to put limb amputations into the game watched "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" too many times. 

Here's some idea of how much metal a sword will cut:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFAKTjOQJwQ&feature=related

While that car hood is hardly representative of decent armor, it does demonstrate that blades will go through a reasonable volume of metal.  From there, you can do the math to figure out how much metal it would take to stop that.  Those guys don't have much for cutting technique, but go through all the Cold Steel knife tests on youtube ... It will give most anybody a new respect for the power of a blade.  (And those are commercially made swords from single-piece steel ... a properly hand-made, or even industrially layered, pattern-welded blade will out-perform that considerably.)
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Agent Griff on September 14, 2008, 02:21:38 AM
But what kind of scars could men who went through a lot of combat in armour boast? And I don't necessarily mean mailed knights, but knights in plate armour as would have been seen in the middle Fifteenth Century, at the onset of the War of the Roses.

The classic scars left by cuts seem rather unlikely since there's no way a sword will slice through plate, so I'm guessing they mostly had nasty bruises or some broken bones, correct?

But the same question goes for mailed warriors, what scars could they have?

Actually, now that I think about it, even warriors in hardened leather could take some strikes and survive relatively unharmed. What scars would they have?
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on September 14, 2008, 03:07:25 AM
Well, there would be blunt impact trauma of various sorts.  This could include bone fractures, joint dislocations, and torn tendons and ligaments, as well as the obvious bruises to soft tissue.  Obviously, head or spine injuries of this type could prove immediately fatal, and internal bleeding can get bad.

There would be some cut wounds, from places where the blade did penetrate.  Even if a blade mostly failed to penetrate, it might go through at some limited point.  And as pointed out, sometimes they went through anyway - often with devastating effects.

There would be lacerations (and associated blunt trauma) caused by the armor, either the edges of solid sections or fold lines where the armor was creased or dented.  These would, at a glance, look much like blade wounds ... except much less clean, and generally much more shallow than you would expect from a cutting weapon.  Weapon hits armor, armor hits you.  (Maille would be more likely to leave erratic-shaped blunt trauma - hard trauma plates would be more likely to fold and leave cuts where they creased.)

Related to that, there could be bits of the armor in the wound.  That plus the occasional arrowhead, from projectiles that went through (to varying degrees).  Digging them out could be medically interesting, a lot like getting the garbage out of modern blast shrapnel wounds.  Infection from this sort of thing could make a relatively minor wound into a disaster.  The Japanese used a whole series of barbed arrowheads just to complicate removal (called "watakushi-ya"), and they weren't the only ones.

Certain weapons were specifically designed to pierce armor - particularly certain hammers, axes, awl-pikes and crossbow bolts.  They tended to leave much smaller wounds than the more general-purpose blades, but deeper wounds in cases where armor penetration was an issue.  This made them statistically less likely to be immediately debilitating, and subsequently less likely to prove fatal later ... but they were a more reliable way to put some kind of wound on someone, even if it was relatively minor.  Spikes and points do leave rather distinctive scars.

Then you get the unrelated damage:  burns caused by boiling oil or water, or melted lead, being poured from walls, or other burning material.  Injuries caused by falling from horses or being run over by same, falls from ladders, general industrial-accident type stuff.  Stepping on nails (the old-school land mine), rocks dropped from walls or launched from throwing arms, poisonous or corrosive chemicals ... anything and everything that armor doesn't really protect from.  There was more of that kind of junk than you might expect.

How much or how little of any of these you might see after a fight would just depend on the fight.

Was that your question?  Or did I miss something?
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Agent Griff on September 14, 2008, 08:55:01 AM
No, you hit the nail on the head and drove it through the other side of the plank. Thank you very much Ron!

I guess that you would also have to take into consideration that armour was different depending on the smith who crafted it. Thus, mail hauberks could vary in quality and thickness I would guess, and their protection levels would also vary.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on September 14, 2008, 10:35:10 AM
Not just the smith ... I've made some armor for modern use (to be concealed under clothing), and I never use the same design twice.  Armor was custom made - the wearer either specified what he wanted, or picked what he liked and had it fitted to him.  The same smith would make both suits as dense as the side of an engine block, and as light as a shirt, just depending on who he was selling to and why.  Also true of modern commercial armor manufacturers - they sell a wide variety of flak vests with different weights and protective attributes, because not everybody has the same requirement list.

Even on different parts of the same armor, I'm likely to build something with very heavy dense pattern in one area and little or nothing in other places.  And that sort of thing was pretty common in the ancient world too, the most extreme examples being some of the early Greek and Macedonian armors, where torso, head, and shins (and sometimes forearms) were covered in solid metal plates (usually heavy brass), while upper legs and upper arms were generally completely uncovered (unless you count the skirt-looking thing they were wearing for clothing, that had about the protective properties of a ski mask).  So there was always a statistical chance that a blow would hit one of the thin spots - either directly, or among other things it may have hit -  and so cause substantial damage.  Actually aiming for the weak spots is probably a questionable practice, since hitting your opponent at all is usually hard enough ... but if the weak point is visible, that factors in as well.

Then there's always a certain degree of chance in combat damage.  Hannibal was hit in the throat by a Roman arrow and survived.  Harry Truman was shot with a .22 rifle at a little over 120 paces, and his 20 page speech rolled up in his suit coat pocket stopped the bullet.  Ahab, king of Israel, was hit in the side by a random arrow fired in volley, it hit between his armpit and the armor, and fatally wounded him.  The largest polar bear ever recorded was killed by a very scared Eskimo with a single-shot .22 rimfire, while in Iraq my brother saw men literally blown to bits who would get up and walk away (even with both arms and half their torso missing).  Then there's Goliath of Gath, who was 9 foot 6 and wearing as much armor as a German panzer, and still went down from a sling stone.  Granted, a sling stone is a more substantial attack than many would think, but against 125 pounds of brass brigandine?  What are the odds?  (Yes, that number is right - a coat of brass armor weighing 5000 shekels.  Roughly 125 pounds.  Plus a brass helmet and greaves, weights not recorded.)    You never really know what will or won't go through armor, and unless you completely obliterate the body, wounding properties are never 100% certain either.  You can weight the odds in your favor, but you still never really know for sure until it happens.

That's one thing M&B does well ... there's enough statistical variance to account for the "something could still go wrong" factor, but enough predictability to make it seem realistic.  That's what made the RCM possible in the first place.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on September 19, 2008, 11:53:45 PM
Minor Update:

It does appear that the M&B 1.0 game engine has not substantially changed the combat model since .890 ... so once we get the module system, conversion to RCM should not take much time.

Bad news, the game is still extremely screwed up in Native ... guys with no real armor still take up to 5 crossbow bolts in the chest and just stand there.  Apparently having an arrow stuck through your lung is just a minor inconvenience where they come from.  So an RCM version WILL be a necessity.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: hayate666 on September 20, 2008, 11:23:59 AM
I've tried it today and native annoys the crap out of me. Naked guys were taking 4 to 5 arrows to the chest or a two handed battleaxe to the head. RCM has ruined any non-RCM M&B-game for me out there :green:
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Wood on September 20, 2008, 08:25:59 PM
There may have been a change relating too speed bonuses, I've been getting much higher values than I used to, just something else to take into consideration. I also think it may be possible to prohibit the use of very large weapons on horseback although I'm not sure about longbows.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on September 21, 2008, 10:53:22 PM
The speed bonus multiplier is in the Module.ini file.

Native 1.003:

horse_charge_damage_multiplier        = 1.0
couched_lance_damage_multiplier       = 0.75

#setting speed_power to 2.0 makes damage scale with the square of missile's speed.
# you can set it to 1.0 to make it scale linearly as it was before.
missile_damage_speed_power = 2.0;
melee_damage_speed_power = 2.0;

-----------------------------------
RCM standard is:

horse_charge_damage_multiplier = 1.0
couched_lance_damage_multiplier = 0.22
missile_damage_speed_power = 1.0
melee_damage_speed_power = 0.5


And yeah, you can flag certain weapons as "cannot use from horse", and depending on certain other functions (types of strikes, etc.), it might actually work.  However, it was generally RCM policy to let most weapons be used from horse, and let the larger weapons eliminate themselves by their slow, clumsy nature.  i.e. you can use a halberd from a horse, but you would need a good reason to do so and some specialized tactics, because it will be too slow to make a good general-purpose weapon.

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

Speaking of which, yes, Native is utterly annoying.

Has anybody heard anything on the 1.003 module system?
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Deored Eirik on September 28, 2008, 03:29:59 AM
I agree with hayate. Especially annoying is the horse speed. But time fixes things with the help of people like Losey!
I used the item modifier .exe to change some stuff to stem off the impatience. For example, I quickened the horses, but I really have no idea how to tell how fast I'm going. It'd be great to have a speedometer! lol.

I also changed many of the axes to pierce damage, and increased the pierce of many of the swords.

Mostly, though, I changed one thing that has always bugged me: I gave axes lunge capability! With blunt damage, of course, and only about half of regular damage. I've always imagined (and I really have no idea) that if, in any way, I could pound the guy in the face with the top of my axe just to get him away for a spell, well, I would. Makes sea raiders a lot more dangerous, too!
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Papa Lazarou on September 28, 2008, 06:43:41 AM
I've tried it today and native annoys the crap out of me. Naked guys were taking 4 to 5 arrows to the chest
Pretty sure that's impossible with the damage levels in game at the moment.

Native's not that bad for damage...
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on September 28, 2008, 06:50:08 AM
Actually, yes it is.  The arrows are the worst ... they go through plate armor like paper, but unless the shooter has a gazillion points in power draw, you can stick three of them in someone's eyes and he will keep fighting.  Granted, however, the arrows and the couched lance damage are the worst two examples.  Below that, there are a bucket load of things that are not quite right, but a person could live with them.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: hayate666 on September 28, 2008, 04:07:49 PM
I've tried it today and native annoys the crap out of me. Naked guys were taking 4 to 5 arrows to the chest
Pretty sure that's impossible with the damage levels in game at the moment.

Native's not that bad for damage...

Ron has mentioned it already, but I've actually tested it. Against a bunch of looters while armed with a two handed axe, a hunting bow and a sumpter horse. With head shots I needed 2 arrows a piece, with only torso shots 3 minimum, but more often 4 or 5. One even managed to get to 6 arrows, but that one was from a moving horse, so a damage penalty probably applied. Armor didn't really matter when I was swinging from a horse moving at full speed. Two hits were the norm, bare chested or not. I tested it with sea raiders somewhat later and they needed two or three full speed hits. After that I decided to give spearing a test run. Couching ANY lance is almost always a guaranteed kill. Even tournament lances are lethal.

All in all, armor and weapon choice don't matter nearly as much as they do with RCM. It's still better than it was in plain 7.60 and the likes though.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Papa Lazarou on September 29, 2008, 08:37:23 AM
Actually, yes it is.  The arrows are the worst ... they go through plate armor like paper, but unless the shooter has a gazillion points in power draw, you can stick three of them in someone's eyes and he will keep fighting.

I guess there's only so much this sort of discussion can achieve, but in my experience this is really the exception rather than the rule. Arrows sticking into plate armour is a graphical limitation in my view - the game doesn't have visuals for deflections and stuff after all. And you'd have to try pretty hard to get multiple arrows into an unarmoured head without killing the guy.

Not that I think the native model is perfect, but it's rare that something happens that can't explained away pretty easily. It seems to me that a crappy arrow from a crappy bow could easily deflect off someone's skull for example.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on September 29, 2008, 12:23:03 PM
Just running the numbers, zero power draw and the low end bow, there is absolutely no way to bring a person down with a single arrow... even in the eyeball.  That's a bug in Native.

When I said the arrows go through plate armor like paper, I meant by the numbers.  Most of these arrows that are utterly incapable of bringing down a naked guy are quite capable of doing some damage even through full plate armor.  Logically, this must mean that either plate armor was made of wax, or humans were made of stone.  I can't decide which.

And no, a ten-pound-draw toy bow will stick a practice arrow THROUGH (not "into", but all the way through) a skull (not tested on humans, specifically, but of various animals with similar bone density and construction) at ranges of up to 20 yards.  And that's a toy - 45 pound draw, plus or minus a bit, using even the most crude of sharpened points, is lethal at any range you can lob an arrow.  The killing power of arrows is phenomenal.  It's difficult to even imagine, for people who grew up in the "modern handgun" thinking - arrows are much heavier than bullets, so they don't stop the way many light handgun rounds do.  The only defense from an arrow is armor heavy enough that the arrow breaks/bends instead of the armor, because one or the other is going to give.  That said, however, unless your arrows are tipped in depleted uranium, there's a severe limit to how much tempered steel plate they will go through ... the arrowhead will break or bend, or the arrow will bend and so deflect.  (The limit is, they will go through several sheets of auto-body steel, but anything thick enough that you can't crease it with your fist, good luck shooting through that.)

A 9x19mm handgun round will sometimes glance off of a skull.  An arrow, even if it does glance off (which it might do if light armor was involved), will hit hard enough to spiderweb crack the skull ... which is pretty much always immediately debilitating.

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

But seriously, you could explain away anything.  Maybe the horses are slow because of vitamin deficiencies.  Maybe the swords are dull, and that's why they never seem to kill anybody.  And let's not forget the knives ... possibly they're made of rubber, because they sure as heck don't do any damage.  Maybe a shirt provides almost as much protection as metal armor because of space magic.  Maybe a mop handle is accelerated to bullet-like speeds just because it is being held couched by a guy on an extremely slow horse.  And let's not forget the huge axes that swing like 80% as fast as a small knife... Maybe they're aluminum, or maybe the knife is made of thick lead.  That doesn't make it right.  It just means you're very good at rationalizing the absurd.

It's called "suspension of disbelief" ... you ignore the unrealistic elements so you can still enjoy the form of entertainment.  Fine for movies, but in the case of M&B mods where we have control over this, repeating the mistakes is just dumber than snake mittens.


Not to mention, I'm on a bit of a personal quest to get the message out:  You can't take a hit from a weapon.  A lot of real-world martial artists get themselves killed, their last words being "It's only a little knife."  I very much put the "maybe the arrow will glance off of a bone" myth in the same category.  Maybe it will ... or maybe the arrow will be hit by lightning between the time it was fired and the time it hits ... but realistically, that thing will go through bone like paper.  The only way to take an arrow hit to the head is if it goes through something non-vital, like the jawbone (which will keep a dentist busy for a long time, but you can live a long time without a jawbone).  But most hits to the head are going to strike something vital.  Also true of at least half or more of hits to the torso, and likely also true of limb hits - you take an arrow, you will probably be on the ground in two seconds, either dead or on the ground trying to slow the bleeding.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Deored Eirik on September 29, 2008, 02:16:59 PM
I have to agree with Ron Losey's assessment. I have little personal experience handling melee weaponry, but do appreciate the value of a sharp edge or point.

However, one thing I would like to throw my opinion on is the swinging of large weapons. I disagree that the overall swing should be slower.

Take an axe and go split some wood: drawing back is slow, as the body reacts to the weight moving against balance, and then you have to reset your muscles to reverse the motion. There is a maybe 18-inch acceleration distance to get the axe up to speed, but once the motion gets started, the axe is moving quickly. More quickly than they do in game. Granted, most logging axes are small compared to the games War Axe, but it's something to consider.

 Is there a way to slow down the drawing back speed of the weapon as opposed to the actual swing?

(slowing this down would give one of my own modifications a good use, as well: being able to thrust with axes for a small amount of blunt damage.)
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: hayate666 on September 29, 2008, 04:53:39 PM
Adding to that: is it realistically possible to knock someone out by thrusting an axehead forward? It sounds too much like a duelling move to be effective on a battlefield.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Papa Lazarou on September 29, 2008, 08:13:56 PM
Great discussion guys!
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Deored Eirik on September 29, 2008, 08:36:34 PM
I'm thinking if I got slammed in the head with the top of an axe, I'm going down. But I'm more referring to relatively low damage rates for thrusting, so it becomes a way to simply knock them back a bit.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on September 29, 2008, 09:46:01 PM
Let's see...

No, there is no way to make certain parts of a move faster than others, i.e. make the draw back and after-swing recovery slower, but the mid-swing faster, without seriously reworking the animations.  That's a much bigger project than I can handle.

Note, however, that longer weapons swing "slower" from the user's perspective, but the tip of the weapon is still moving faster than with a shorter weapon.  That effect is captured in the game.

And yes, a basic wood axe is a LOT lighter (and somewhat shorter) than the really big anti-armor axes.  I've spent some hours on the end of a double-bit wood axe too ... If I was doing all the models, I would model some lighter, long-handled two-handed axes like that.  But in the case of RCM-Native, I was not adding models - so I have to work with what I had.

Also note that your player's agility (and possibly skill ... had trouble confirming that) modifies swing speed.  Heavier weapons get a lot more useful once you get your agility up a few points.  This is not unreasonable, but a lot of people forget about it... 30 points in agility is the difference between a really big axe being totally uncontrollable and actually swinging pretty well.

Head bash with an axe ... possible, but not terribly effective.  A rather slow attack, due to the weight of the axe head, and lacking any real leverage.  Many fighting axes in various parts of the world had points at the tip, to help recover from this weakness, but even then it was less than impressive.  I'll make a mental note of that ... try to add the move next time I'm messing with it, if I don't forget.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Deored Eirik on September 30, 2008, 12:37:49 AM
Yeah, like I was saying: not very much damage, just enough to knock them back a bit.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: hayate666 on September 30, 2008, 09:35:21 AM
Interesting. Wouldn't the recovery from the overweighted axehead overbalancing you be too great though? That it's a theoretical possibility but not in practice I mean.

(http://www.thearma.org/essays/Talhoffer/HT-Web_files/image014.jpg)

Since we're already discussing techniques I'll ask this one over here. I was looking at some pictures of sword fighting on the internet and ran into this. The left swordsman is attempting a technique called "half swording" while the right swordsman is attempting a "morte strike". They are advertised as "frightfully effective against armoured opponents". Both techniques seem incredibly over the top to me, but is there any recorded historical use of them? How do they use this without cutting their own hands? Why not use a war hammer against armoured opponents?
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Deored Eirik on September 30, 2008, 02:24:32 PM
As for the overbalancing, I believe the law "every action has an opposite and equal reaction" applies: slamming someone with a quick jab to the head is going to counteract the balance of the axe, making it easier to pull it backwards.

As for the picture...
Recorded historically, yes. To avoid cutting themselves, they wore gauntlets or something similar. The one on the right doesn't seem to have any such protection, so about him I'm not sure, unless the artist simply was not entirely accurate.

Also, while these swords don't illustrate it, many of the longer swords made (zweihander, two-handed claymore) had no cutting edge for the first foot or so of the blade coming from the hilt. This allowed use of the swords in close quarters, something that, unfortunately, the game was not made to allow.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on September 30, 2008, 03:24:46 PM
The event pictured is a tournament.  The tournaments used blunt "swords" (actually, just wrought iron mock-ups ... the source of the myth that European swords were not sharp or not blade-quality steel, as many of these have survived).

The techniques used in the tournaments had nothing to do with sword work.  There are several pictures showing people holding the sword by the blade and using the hilt as a club in tournaments (but I've NEVER seen this in any art depicting an actual battle).  Some who have done some research on this actually go so far as to suggest that the tournaments caused a decline in swordsmanship.  (Not unreasonable - sport kendo has done very bad things to cutting technique in Japan as well.)  The "half-sword" stab was one of these - effectively "use blunt sword-shaped object as a battering ram" - as was the bizarre stuff like holding the "sword" by the "blade".  If your weapon is just an irregularly shaped chunk of iron, it makes as much sense as anything else ... maybe more, since swords are balanced to slice, and this was clearly a match with clubs.

Some actual swords were designed with grip surface on the blade side of the cross-bar.  (You can pick them out, as they have some kind of small guard or ear in the middle of the blade, to keep the user's hand from sliding onto the cutting edge.)  Compare that to the Japanese nagimaki - the idea of a longer blade needing a longer handle was universal.  However, for some reason, Europe decided to keep the basic "sword" look and just fake part of it.  (Part of that may have been psychological - a huge sword looks a lot more scary than some kind of strange short spear type object.)  This allowed the heavier weapon to be used for slicing at close range, and therefore made it much more versatile than the versions with cutting edge entirely back to the hilt.  However, the forward grip was not particularly useful in a jab, unless the enemy was just to close, since the extra few inches really would not make a heavy sword any more controllable.  (Note that the part about the enemy being too close was, actually, a pretty common problem for longer weapons... a classic example of the devil being in the details.)

I think that was the question.

And yes, with a little creative programming on the strike animation and moving the model around a bit, I could do greatswords with the grip on the first few inches of the "blade" ... I've assembled worse.  However, it would require a special model, and I really don't feel like messing with it right now.  If I find myself doing models for something European in the near future, I'll play with it a bit and see how it looks.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Papa Lazarou on October 01, 2008, 03:45:07 AM
One mod which included zweihanders just switched some of the animations. So the sword would use polearm animations for the thrust attack and for some of the blocks. Worked pretty well for a placeholder. (you'd probably want to credit them if you ever end up using this =p)

Also, there's some halfswording shown here towards the end - http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=Kj4Ng6DBfrg (http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=Kj4Ng6DBfrg)
Seems like a reasonable thing to do when things get a bit close.

Some other techniques in more detail here - http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=HC5FIyfI8TA&feature=related (http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=HC5FIyfI8TA&feature=related)

Which reminds me, I've not found any similar videos of Japanese sword fighting. Looking around, it seems like there's less variety in Japanese sword techniques than in western (at least those that survived).
I speculated it might be because the longsword has a more versatile design (with a large crossguard and lots of straight lines). I know I wouldn't trust a tsuba to catch an overhead blow for example. Thoughts?
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on October 01, 2008, 11:22:00 AM
Using the "polearm" animation is not something you credit somebody for thinking of ... Everybody has thought of that.  I did that with the nagimaki in ONR as well, and was what I planned to do again (if and when I ever build such), before you mentioned it.  The only issue is getting the model to match the hand positions - and I already have a sample of something else (a bizarre Asian weapon, a unique item for the next version of ONR) to work from, so I do not need their models for that either.

As for variation, well, Japanese styles vary greatly between aggressive and defensive, and between hard blocks and evasion being dominant.  Some went so far as to actually advocate things like evading an enemy's blade by as narrow a margin as possible, just to cause a moment of confusion while he tried to figure out if he hit you or not.  Japan also went so far as to have some styles use the blade from an underhand grip at times (a move made famous in the figure-eight spin in "Conan the Barbarian").  Schools ranged from favoring greatswords to short swords and long daggers.  The single edge made for a lot of opportunities to do things like put your shoulder or free hand into the attack (also seen in Middle Eastern and Eastern European sabers, by the way).  So yeah, there was tremendous variation in Japanese sword arts - but you would have to know what you were looking for.

(As for what has survived ... very little from either source has really survived.  The European tournaments and increased use of heavy armor, and sport kendo in Japan, pretty much killed swordsmanship.  Most of what survives today has been heavily reconstructed from the sources that could still be studied.)

Anyway, no, the double-edge blade is not really a more versatile design.  If anything, the back edge being sharp actually limits your ability to use it close to your own body, and so limits it to fully extended blows.  (Of course, if everyone is using shields, that's likely all you will get anyway - it's hard to get inside their shield for any of the close-quarters techniques.)  It is, however, a direct and uncomplicated design ... which made it very popular around the world.

By the way, Japan did have straight-blade double-edge swords.  They were based off of the Chinese designs, and so tended to have smaller hilt guards.  They were not as popular as the curved blades, except as offerings to Buddhist temples, where they were more popular.  Likewise, Europe had as many curved sabers and falchions as there ever were straight longswords.  One of the swords owned by Charlemagne - apparently the one he used in combat, instead of for ceremony - was a curved scimitar-type falchion.  So I would say that the dichotomy between the single-edge curved "Asian" blade and the straight double-edged "European" weapon appears to have been a total myth.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Papa Lazarou on October 01, 2008, 08:55:32 PM
Using the "polearm" animation is not something you credit somebody for thinking of ... Everybody has thought of that.  I did that with the nagimaki in ONR as well, and was what I planned to do again (if and when I ever build such), before you mentioned it.  The only issue is getting the model to match the hand positions - and I already have a sample of something else (a bizarre Asian weapon, a unique item for the next version of ONR) to work from, so I do not need their models for that either.

Well you'll forgive me if this:
Quote
I could do greatswords with the grip on the first few inches of the "blade" ... I've assembled worse.  However, it would require a special model...
led me to think you hadn't thought of it. Whether you credit them or not is your business, I just thought it'd be a nice thing to do.

Quote
As for variation, well, Japanese styles vary greatly between aggressive and defensive, and between hard blocks and evasion being dominant.  Some went so far as to actually advocate things like evading an enemy's blade by as narrow a margin as possible, just to cause a moment of confusion while he tried to figure out if he hit you or not. Japan also went so far as to have some styles use the blade from an underhand grip at times (a move made famous in the figure-eight spin in "Conan the Barbarian").  Schools ranged from favoring greatswords to short swords and long daggers.
I don't see why longsword styles couldn't have varied in the same ways.

Quote
The single edge made for a lot of opportunities to do things like put your shoulder or free hand into the attack (also seen in Middle Eastern and Eastern European sabers, by the way).
Well, halfswording would include that and more wouldn't it? I don't know exactly how sharp the edges were, but I'd happily take a halfsword grip (with a gloved hand) if it'd help my chances in the fight.

Quote
Anyway, no, the double-edge blade is not really a more versatile design.  If anything, the back edge being sharp actually limits your ability to use it close to your own body, and so limits it to fully extended blows.
Well this depends on the sharpness of the edge, and the armour of the combatants. Also, I think at the very least the crossguard adds a fair few options.

Quote
So I would say that the dichotomy between the single-edge curved "Asian" blade and the straight double-edged "European" weapon appears to have been a total myth.
If you mean the quantities of straight and curved blades were roughly equal across the world, frankly - though I don't have the data - I doubt it. But I'd agree that it might be a pretty misleading statement.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on October 01, 2008, 09:56:19 PM
The ratio of straight to curved blades was not equal ... Japan did favor single-edge blades (with varying degrees of curve, ranging from totally straight to pretty seriously rounded) for over 800 years.  While the falchion in Europe was probably the more common weapon, as it was the weapon of commoner footsoldiers, the knights and other more professional troops were more often seen with straight double-edged blades.  Lighter single-edge sabers (straight or in varying degrees of curve), however, were the rule among lighter horse, especially Middle Eastern and Eastern Europe, and among navy (the infamous pirate "cutlass" was the same weapon as an infantry falchion).  In China, the two basic designs (called "dao" and "jian") were used in roughly equal measure.

Every European sword I have ever seen documented at all was VERY sharp.  (Many held an edge like a razor even after laying around for several hundred years.)  Unless you were an absolute walking tank, you would not want that anywhere near your body.  The tournament "swords" were wrought-iron mock-ups, and deliberately blunt - plus most of them were much too heavy, giving another reason not to use them like swords.  So all of that holding the weapon by the blade stuff appears to be purely tournament.  (That statement not applying to swords that actually had grip surfaces designed on the blade side of the crossbar ... those areas were not "blade", no matter where they were found.)  Any kind of sword that was made and balanced like a sword would be extremely difficult to use like that.

The idea of modeling a sword using the polearm grip does require a special model - you have to make sure that the forward grip matches the hand placement of the "polearm" animation.  Easy enough in theory, but tricky to make it look right.  That's IF I could think of a reason to do one of these.  (We'll see how they look when "Holy War" gets back in production.)

And as for variation - certainly, you could put that kind of variety to work on European swords, or Chinese jian, or Aztec macauhuitl, or just about anything else ... but I don't think anyone ever did.  While all indications are that the European knights were good swordsmen, the exact style of their training does not seem to have been formalized the way the Japanese did.  The attempts in Europe to standardize sword styles came late, and although a number of those books survive, there is little indication that they were ever effective at creating standardized styles, and what they advocated was all pretty straightforward.  So I would say that variations in style on European weapons were somewhat limited by social convention, irrelevant to the actual design of the weapon (which, as previously pointed out, likely didn't mean much anyway).

I've seen some research that was pretty decisive in concluding that the large crossguards on European swords were intended to keep people from bashing your hands with their shield.  That is, between the end of the crossguard and the tip of the pommel, there was enough room for a hand to rest safely.  This would actually make sense, as the Roman gladius did not have such a guard, but it was the shield push of the Roman legions (and hence, getting your hands broken against shields) that would define group tactics in Europe for centuries.  Of course, there were likely other things you could do with the guard, but this explanation made the most sense of why it was a dominant feature in Europe, but not so much in other places.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Papa Lazarou on October 02, 2008, 01:14:10 AM
Quote
Every European sword I have ever seen documented at all was VERY sharp... Any kind of sword that was made and balanced like a sword would be extremely difficult to use like that.
Okay, that's good to know. But even if we assume this was the case, it seems to me that decent leather would be enough to protect your hand (since the blade wouldn't be moving or have much force behind it). And besides, I assume this technique would be most common when fighting a heavily armoured opponent, against whom cuts would be useless. I think this is as far as we're going to get on this bit though =p


Basically my point was that I haven't seen much variety in the techniques of Japanese swordsmanship, even without halfswording. Blocks which use the crossguard (e.g., using it to block an overhead strike, then pivoting the blade into their head/neck like in the video) seem to allow a greater variety of techniques for a start. I'm not talking about variations in style - like aggressiveness and the finer points of blocking or evasion - I'm talking about specific techniques. Distinct techniques like the various joint-locks of jujutsu for example. And it seems that without halfswording or a large crossguard, maybe there just aren't that many options.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on October 02, 2008, 12:21:24 PM
An actual block with a sword crossguard would be clumsy at best.  General practice was not to let the cutting edge contact the enemy blade, i.e. to turn the side (or back, in the case of single-edge weapons) to the incoming blow.  Therefore, the shape of the guard would be counter-productive to that.  Smaller guards would keep a blade off of your hand, should an opponent's weapon slide down your blade.  (Note the Japanese guards were round, to protect the hand from blades that slide down the side of your weapon as well.) 

If you think leather would protect your hand, put on a welding glove, pick up a kitchen knife by the blade, and try to drive a nail with the knife handle.  But don't say I didn't warn you - you're about to lose some fingers.  A sword would be a heck of a lot worse.  I've skinned too many animals - leather is good padding and is abrasion-resistant, but it slices just about as easily as the meat under it.  The only ways to make leather into armor are to harden it, and/or use several layers (and you can't grip a weapon with gloves that are an inch thick ... and an inch of leather still wouldn't last long).

Side note on that - late-period fencing did try maille gloves and attempting to hold the enemy's blade.  Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't, but it took pretty heavy maille to even protect from one stroke of a stupid rapier - so do the math, and figure out how much armor it would take to hold a heavy sword by the blade and hammer on someone with it.  (Answer - more steel than you can carry at arm's length.  Way more than you could wear in your gloves and fight.) 

And yeah, swords were, in general, only moderately effective against any armor.  That's why there were specific anti-armor weapons.  However, swords stayed somewhat popular, because not everybody had heavy armor, and not everybody who had it went around wearing it 24/7.  Still, I can find no evidence to suggest that anybody ever tried to use a sharp sword backwards, even though it was apparently quite common with blunt mock-ups in tournaments.  There were plenty of ideas involving using the pommel of the weapon from a more normal grip (in every country, regardless of design).

Specific use of the crossguard as a weapon would really only be useful with blunt swords, as a restraining or disarming technique - see the Japanese jitte and hachiwara and Okinawan sai for more variations on that idea, as well as the later European left-hand fencing daggers.  Pretty much anything else you could do with it would be less useful than using the blade, or at least no better than what could be done with the pommel and/or your fist or elbow from that position.  And since the restraining techniques would not really work with a sharp blade (as they would get cut up, so there would be little point in restraining them if you were just going to wound them anyway), and the blade-catches really only applied to rapier fencing, it makes me seriously wonder what possible use those guards could have, aside from preventing hand injuries from shield impacts.  I mean, sure, once they were there, people tried to improvise additional uses for them ... but those don't justify the presence of such items.

If you're just beating on someone's armor, trying to wear him out from the loud banging sound inside his helmet, and the only weapon you could find was a sword ... there would still be no benefit in turning it around, using the relatively soft metal of the guard (likely brass or wrought iron, at least not blade steel) and the leather-padded handle instead of the hard steel blade.  I mean, "This sharp, hard, chisel-edge designed for piercing things and causing injury is not working, so I think I'll try the gently rounded edges and softer metal, wood, and/or leather padding of the end I'm supposed to hold, which is designed to dampen impact and reduce injury.  If that doesn't work, we'll go straight to marshmallows."
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: hayate666 on October 03, 2008, 03:52:03 PM
Informative as always Ron. :green: I've got another one for you. I've been reading some classical accounts on army tactics and found a really intriguing blade, namely the Dacian falx. (Intriguing for the gruesome results it apparently provided, I mean the author was really scared out of his pants) I've seen similar designs in a falcata an a khopesh in museums, but the falx is taking the inside curve to extremes. Were those blades useful in any way and how were they used? The only way I can imagine is a wide two handed swing, which would leave the wielder wide open for counter-attacks.

I'd still really like to see one of those in Mount and Blade though.  ::)
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on October 03, 2008, 07:44:09 PM
The falx (Used by the Dacians, as well as various other eastern European and Germanic groups) is a forward-curved blade of varying length (usually in the 3-foot range) on a short pole (probably 2 to 4 foot).  There were a lot of variations, depending on exactly which group and time period, and varying between individuals as well.  Specific data is sketchy, mostly reconstructed from art and written accounts, and those mostly by the opponents who faced them more than the weapon's creators.

In effective use, the falx is functionally identical to the Japanese nagimaki.  Sure, one curves forward and the other back, but the ratio of blade to handle is about the same, which means the use was about the same.  All short, bladed polearms tend to leave the attacker a little bit exposed if the first strike misses, but the wide grip allows for a relatively quick recovery (watching my brother reverse direction of swing on a 7-foot naginata is pretty impressive - approaching that would be like walking into a lawn mower).  So that weakness is not as serious as you might think.

I own a good kukri.  The forward curve doesn't really change the way the blade is used.  It's tempting, because the blade is nose-heavy, to think of it like an axe ... that would be a mistake.  If used to slice, just like you would a straight or back-curved blade, then the beauty of the forward curve really comes out.  The falx was the same way - a short glaive with oversize blade.  Likewise, the falcata and yatagan were effectively little different from the back-curved falchions or sabers.  Japan even made a few forward-curved blades like this, but they were mostly used for cutting vegetation, not really as weapons.

Forward-curved blades do cut a little deeper on a slice.  Generally irrelevant in a good, hard hacking motion, but valuable in a quick draw-cut.  They're a little harder to use, as the forward curve is a little bit counter-intuitive.  Best way to learn to use one is to start with a straight blade of similar size and weight, and then switch and try to use the forward-curved one as much the same way as possible.

The mentality behind the falx was retained in a later-period European polearm, the "military scythe", and some have cited it as the inspiration for the English billhooks.  The original falx fell out of use some time after Rome took over Dacia.  (It suffered from requiring a loose formation to use, which cost them when going up against the Legions.)  If someone is doing a Roman or late Macedonian era mod, they should certainly be present, and in large numbers and several variations ... or they would look good in a fantasy setting.

But the author is right - one-on-one, it is a terrifying weapon.  Roman troops did not have the armor to handle that.  So terrifying that, 1500 years later, George Sliver (very likely the top expert on combat training in England at the time) would write that the billhook (effectively the same design, slightly heavier) had "advantage over every weapon whatsoever."

The historical origin of the falx is unknown.  It likely evolved from some type of agricultural scythe.

That's what I know about them, just off the top of my head.  A little fuzzy on details - I haven't done any reading on them in years.  I could probably come up with some more specific information if you need it, but it would take a little research.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Papa Lazarou on October 03, 2008, 08:26:12 PM
Well, I'm still not settled on the halfswording question. But I think we're just running try on that one. Thanks for the perspective though.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: hayate666 on October 04, 2008, 11:18:38 AM
Well, it is an awful lot of information "just off the top of your head". Thanks Ron. I've read a bit further today and the author stated that Roman armour was improved by adding a small metal bar to the helmet (and shoulder pads too if I read it correctly), just for countering this weapon. This means the weapon was terrific at splitting helmets and hacking through armour. It seems rather counter-intuitive though. The blade runs from a rather wide base with a heavy curve to end in a narrow point. Wouldn't that mean that the blades are extremely fragile against hitting harder materials? Especially the point should be rather vulnerable. What am I missing here?
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on October 04, 2008, 12:16:43 PM
One, most were not THAT narrow.  Two, they had a thick spine, to make up for it.  (Also true of Japanese swords - relatively narrow by international standards, but reinforced by a thick spine.)

I doubt it was "terrific" at splitting armor ... but it did a fair enough job of such that Roman commanders were none too fond of meeting them.  (Of course, the barbarians' heavy use of axes also required the armor be upgraded.)  Don't forget the period we're talking about - Greek and Macedonian armor was mostly brass at the time, and Roman maille was pretty light compared to what would be seen a thousand years later (i.e. the Crusades).  The Roman banded armors, which made their big appearance while the falx was still an issue, were mostly a product of being cheaper to construct than maille, not being better protection.  Some Roman auxiliaries had little or no armor at all - the velites, for example, were expected to expend their javelins and then hide behind the armored troops.  This wasn't like beating on the walking tanks of the early 17th century, at the high point of tournament plate armors - infantry in the Roman period was mostly protected by a wooden shield and a thick layer of dumb luck.  It doesn't exactly take nuclear weapons to turn a wooden shield to splinters... and although there are no reliable statistics for dumb luck, the fact they got into a fight with a bunch of barbarians who were carrying these weapons the size of boat oars, it's a safe bet that their luck was already wearing thin before they ever arrived on the field.


And no, that really wasn't all that much information just off the top of my head.  It was some vague generalities about something I only partially studied years ago, plus some more vague generalities about other but similar weapons.  I guess, when compared to "never heard of one before just recently", it might sound like a pretty impressive compilation ... but it wouldn't really pass as research.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Deored Eirik on October 06, 2008, 03:03:25 AM
I love weapon history.

On another note, will RCM increase horse speed? I seem to remember previous versions doing so.

Maybe also (somehow) horse SIZE. Horses are altogether too small in this game. Or at least not long enough. But is it possible to increase the size without actually having to make a new model?

ADD: I've always thought the arrows move too slowly, as well.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on October 06, 2008, 03:30:15 AM
Horse speeds and maneuver are among the things that are changed, yes.  A lot of research went into that, actually - trying to convert real horse speeds to the correct feel in-game.

Horse size would not only require new models, but custom skeletons in order to get the rider in the correct position.  For now, you're stuck with the little steppe ponies.

Arrow speeds on the larger bows were increased as much as we could.  However, if projectiles get too fast in M&B, they start skipping - not registering hits because they pass through a target before the collision mesh is redrawn.  Still, the latest RCM versions were not bad - the arrows behaved like they were a little heavy, but otherwise functional.  (The ones in Native were much too short range - I agree.)
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Deored Eirik on October 06, 2008, 02:37:28 PM
Yeah, I noticed the comparison on the horses in the RCM and current Native files. The RCM are (about) one third faster and more maneuverable.

Hmm. One thing I'm doing now is manually changing the default athletics for EVERY troop in the game to 10. That way, the speed appears (to me) more realistic. I mean, 0 athletics is like a bouncy but slow walk. I wanted to feel not only as if I was actually CHARGING my enemies, but that THEY were charging ME. Giving myself a level 10 athletics in the beginning would be unfair and no fun.

Now everyone runs into combat. Adds a lot to the game. It also means the footsoldiers have a better chance against the faster horses I've implemented by RCM standards.


So this is the question: do you agree that men RUN into battle and not bounce-walk? If so, could one use RCM to increase the default level 0 speed, so that
          0=brisk jog (quite faster than current) as default for player and whoever else starts with 0
and    10=dead sprint? (ok, maybe dead sprint is too much, but you get the idea)

EDIT: Yes, I understand the concept of heavy armor slowing one down, but the game compensates for that. Maybe tweak it, if it's not enough.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: hayate666 on October 06, 2008, 05:10:20 PM
Everybody on 10 athletics? Add yakety sax to the background and you would have a Benny Hill themed comedy game. Besides, men shouldn't be able to compete in running against horses. How do you factor in the effect of more training on athletics skill when everybody is at the maximum already?
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Deored Eirik on October 06, 2008, 08:08:29 PM
You don't. That's why I'd prefer having zero be faster than it is, so I CAN upgrade.

Believe me, they are nowhere near horse speed. In fact, they're still less than a good run. It gives a better ability for them to strafe out of the way of horses, lances, arrows, etc. Just like any normal soldier in fear for his life would do.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on October 06, 2008, 08:12:50 PM
Have any of you guys ever tried to move around outdoors?  I mean, not running shorts and sneakers on concrete ... I'm talking about slogging up the side of an irregular-looking hill carrying more than a few pounds of gear.  Because it's not easy.  That grass that makes for cool graphics - that's all material that your feet have to pass through... briers, tangle-vines, small tree stumps, dead sticks, anything and everything that you can walk around but running in it is impossible.  A pile of uneven rocks is no running track either.

A running man averages 3 miles an hour over rough terrain - about the same as a brisk walk on level concrete.  Add 40 pounds of weapons and armor, and unless you want to take a chance on heatstroke or spraining an ankle, you'll cut that in half at least.

A horse can make at least 30 miles an hour even over bad terrain, with a rider.  A little slow, by the standards of the animal world, really - a North American grizzly bear runs about 40 (and the few people who have tried to ride one say that a little extra weight has no impact on them).  Horses do a little better on level ground, clocked 50mph plus in the case of actual race animals.

If anything, I would say people move too fast in the game... certainly so if you include the "athletics" thing.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Deored Eirik on October 06, 2008, 09:26:45 PM
Excellent points. I am referring more toward the relatively lighter troops, with heavy armor DRASTICALLY reducing speed. Also, more like the final twenty yards to the enemy than the whole way, which cannot be separated in the game. Something like knights did in history (if I'm remembering correctly): how they did not go straight into a run on the beginning of a battle, but rather very gradually increased their speed to a full gallop to achieve maximum impact.

I modified the athletics partially for the running last few yards idea, but largely also for the moving from side to side and stepping back faster. Thus, when trying to avoid an oncoming horse, one can actually move as if one's life depended on it. Which in real life, it would.

But maybe I'm wrong.

Also, having spent a long time fighting in heavy gear, you'd think they'd be able to move faster than your average guy.
Remember also, that swords rarely weighed over a few pounds. EVER. So, unless equipped with axes, weapons would hardly add much to weight.

Frankly, I believe the game a native is too slow with all the swords. Period. Has anyone ever tried to swing a well-balanced, barely over four-pound greatsword?
Piece of cake. And I am a shrimp. It was easy to thrust and recover, swing and recover, etc. Swords were balanced and light. ARMA has billions of articles on medieval weaponry. THIS: http://www.thearma.org/essays/weights.htm    is an excellent one about how much (or little) these weapons weighed.

I'm sure everyone knows this already, but I keep hearing about "larger, clumsy weapons eliminating themselves as viable weapons". I hope you are talking about the voulge/axe families, because swords were neither large nor clumsy.

Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Vraven on October 06, 2008, 09:39:57 PM
This is an awesome thread. I like all the weapons and movement realism talk, and fully support this concept, not to mention drool over its eventual release.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on October 07, 2008, 12:25:52 AM
Vraven:

It's not an "eventual" release - the RCM is operational on most of the Major mods.  See the first post in this thread for a complete (mostly - could use an update) list of RCM mods.  For the best (and original) RCM version, check out "Onin-no-Ran" (last release for .903 ... will be ported to 1.0x as soon as module system is released). 

Deored:

Yes, I got the greatswords considerably faster than nose-heavy weapons of similar length.  Check out ONR - I know more about Japanese weapons than European ones, actually, and you will find the weapon speeds to be extremely accurate.

Also, when you say "greatswords", that's a big category.  If you're talking about a two-hander with maybe 36 inches of blade, like what George Silver described as ideal sword length, then that's one story.  If you're talking about Japanese o-dachi, some of those things had a full six feet of blade, and their ONLY uses were breaking formations and attacking horses, because one-on-one, there was no way to maneuver that thing.  (Another huge misconception was that Asian weapons were all light and fast - ironic, since Japan produced many of the world's most outlandish oversize weapons.)  I mean, a two-hand sword could weigh three pounds or it could weigh nine.  And while most people don't appreciate how light many such weapons could be, I have also heard the equally uninformed argument that ALL large swords were light ... which is an error in the other direction.

Not to mention, swinging around a three-pound sword is easy for the first couple of swings, sure - but it gets heavy in a hurry.  Same with armor - well-fitted armor (or any other such military or industrial gear - backpacks, tool belts, whatever you normally carry) doesn't feel too bad on, and balances pretty well for the first couple of hours.  But no matter what shape you're in, you're a tired puppy by the end of the day.  And the extra weight DOES take a lot of the bounce out of your step, no matter how big of a hurry you may be in, or how long you've been carrying it.  That "leap to the side" move just doesn't work as smoothly as you would hope, when gravity is seriously working against you... instead of a leap, it looks more like a crude lunge or possibly a bad nervous twitch.

The knights would start at a moderate pace and accelerate slowly for group charges, because it made life much easier when trying to hold a formation.  This was not necessary if you were not trying to hold a line, as most horses can get up to speed in about six good steps.  (I learned to ride, back as a little kid, on a tough little barrel-race pony that could go from dead stop to full run in maybe ten feet - but that horse was insane.  It liked to run around things at like 30 miles an hour, so I ate a lot of tree branches.  Angry little pony - minimum ride skill 9.)  Also done with infantry - troops would normally start at normal march and then go to double-time and then to charge, so as to hold a line rather than attacking as a mob.  It doesn't mean the same guys couldn't start at a sprint if they were running in the 100m.

As for the armors, there were problems with armor weights in Native - extremely light stuff (like a thick shirt) seemed to weigh WAY too much.  While the RCM-Native package didn't do much with this (since the Native armors did not have exact historical counterparts), the other RCM mods have reviewed this much more closely, and continue to do so.

Note that axes aren't that heavy either - a double-bit woodsman's axe on a roughly 36 inch hickory handle, is about two pounds.  Most of the weight is right on the end, which makes swinging the thing a little complicated (that is, if you are actually trying to avoid hitting yourself in the shins).  But "heavy" is not really the problem - "oddly balanced" is the issue.  And I can honestly say that a wood axe is a questionable weapon against anybody who favors close-quarters - recovery time is long enough that they could get under your swing.  So a slower weapon eliminating itself unless special conditions exist (in this case, opponent wearing heavy armor, or also having a similarly long weapon and so choosing to stay within your effective range) is still a viable concept ... even if my definition of being too slow is not really what you were imagining.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Deored Eirik on October 07, 2008, 12:56:26 AM
Yes, I read that the weight of swords (European) was varied, but the swords I have seen ingame (short of falchion) were among the light. I guess it makes sense about the armor getting heavy over time and all, and that "lunges" would be difficult.

So I cede to your superior knowledge.

But, as there are simply no ambushes in the game (save for the bandits in the cities), would ANY of the soldiers carry tools, packs, food, etc. into combat? Your character certainly has time to plant a flag and a chest......I would shed all unnecessary weight before I went into battle if I knew it was coming. Which always happens in M&B. Of course, just taking off the weight does not mean you are thus shed of its effect on your stamina, but simply stepping aside quickly enough to (hopefully) avoid a death-blow from a mounted enemy would seem to be possible, something which the default athletics on most soldiers (0) does not do.

Also, having a chest and an otherwise impossibly large inventory would suggest that your party actually employs pack animals or even wagons to carry non-combative gear, thus allowing the soldiers to have just their own armor and weapons to carry. Yeah, I know "just" downplays it, but relatively speaking...

Also, what about accounting for adrenaline? in the current native, without the stupid teleporting to every party you can see on the map with sight cheat, one really has only a very few and very short battles in a day. Except when carefully attacking a horde much larger than yours to protect your country, the men are likely to be fairly well rested. I'm guessing.
Adrenaline has been known to do incredible things, especially when one's life depends on it, as it does in every skirmish. Battle madness, or whatever you want to call it, is a fact, though not an unlimited reserve of energy.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: hayate666 on October 07, 2008, 01:10:42 AM
Have any of you guys ever tried to move around outdoors?  I mean, not running shorts and sneakers on concrete ... I'm talking about slogging up the side of an irregular-looking hill carrying more than a few pounds of gear.  Because it's not easy.  That grass that makes for cool graphics - that's all material that your feet have to pass through... briers, tangle-vines, small tree stumps, dead sticks, anything and everything that you can walk around but running in it is impossible.  A pile of uneven rocks is no running track either.

Well, actually I have tried that (after getting myself horribly lost in mountainous terrain on the Polish/Czech Republic border this summer) and movement on foot is rather slow. Mud, grass, slopes and undergrowth only allow a slow walking speed if you don't want to trip or tire yourself more than you have to. I was lucky it hadn't rained in quite some time or else I could have added slippery rock paths to that as well. Running is something you can forget most of the time. Add 40 pounds of weight and you can forget any fast movement all together.

Sidestepping a charging swordsman on a horse seems rather impossible to me. The historical way for infantry to deal with horses is not to sidestep them one on one, but to engage them in numbers with reach or ranged weapons. I'm sure Ron can explain it better than me, but let's just say pike formations were rediscovered in the Middle Ages for a reason. Look into the battle at Agincourt for another method involving muddy terrain, longbows and overeager French knights.

edit: What about adrenaline? Should random troops get a boost or penalty involving their reaction to adrenaline, the fight or flight response? How do you deal with the after-effect of a adrenaline boost? Without a decent morale system this can't be implemented. Even if adrenaline is a factor, it should count for both sides just as much so it should cancel each other out.

 
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Deored Eirik on October 07, 2008, 01:28:02 AM
Not cancel each other out. Just because it would allow both opponents to move quickly when danger hits, doesn't mean both should thus move slowly. That makes no sense.

I'm not saying random bursts of speed. I'm saying just let the guys try and move out of the way. A default speed increase.

But, I definitely see Ron's points. So I think I'll play with more footspeed myself, and let others do what they want with RCM.

Beauty of M&B, right?
Lots of stuff learned, as well!
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on October 07, 2008, 01:51:50 AM
Adrenaline, speaking from actual experience, works like this:

When someone tries to kill you, it scares the bejeebers out of you ... producing a LOT of adrenalin in a hurry.  This increases heart rate and blood flow to muscles, and so makes sure you are operating at every bit of 100% of your physical capabilities.  Greatly increased heart rate sometimes causes the perception that the world is moving in slow motion - since people base their perception of time on their own metabolism.  Along with this comes a rush of endorphins - natural pain-killers, to prevent pain from distracting you from the needs of survival.  Combined with survival instinct (which was, after all, the reason you were scared in the first place), it does make relatively ordinary people seem to do some pretty amazing things.  This lasts anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes, after which you can't remember a darn thing that happened during the fight ... and then you puke.

(The memories come back as nightmares, sometimes years later, for the rest of your life.  One of the many fun parts of post-traumatic stress disorder.  Fortunately for computer game characters, they don't have to live with that part.)

Adrenalin does NOT cover up general muscle fatigue, make you less tired, or give you the ability to defy gravity.  It does not give you any powers that you did not already have - it merely represents a biological focus on such abilities (i.e. your body is preparing for the worst, and so ignoring anything except immediate survival needs).  It means that, when in danger, you will really put 100% of your physical abilities into that dodge ... but it never gives you 110%, so if you're too heavy, you're still going down like a sack of flour.

The worst part is that it will fail you when you really need it.  Just about the time you need a steady hand, your hands will start shaking.  (That's a side effect of a spike in adrenalin.)  Just when you really need 110%, adrenalin levels will drop, and you will be operating at 50% with a strong desire to throw up.  Or you won't notice pain, and so fail to take effective first aid measures until you've lost too much blood.  Speaking of which, increased heart rate greatly increases arterial bleeding, which makes edged-weapon injuries in combat even more deadly than if you were ambushed while at rest.  It utterly impedes any small-motor control - making things like elaborate martial-arts techniques or reloading a firearm more-or-less impossible.  That last part can get you killed, for sure.

It certainly won't let you sprint around like an Olympic runner while wearing what appears to be a German panzer.

Sorry.


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

And as for the "step to the side and swing", that is one way to deal with a horse attack ... but it generally only works if you were not the specific target.  If a bunch of horses run through a formation, you could put enough distance between you and one of them to get a swing at his legs.  Also, if your enemy is trying to make a swipe in passing, he will be offset of your position already, and you're only dodging the last 6 inches of his weapon blade.  But if, in the case of a lance charge, the fool horse is coming right at you ... you might dodge the lance point, but unless the rider is asleep or just not trying too hard to hit you, odds are you're still going to get brushed aside when the horse runs over you.  This is the nature of large things bearing down on you at 30 miles an hour.

Anyone who has ever worked with cattle will agree - about the only way to avoid being trampled when one of the animals decides to go through you is usually a combination dodge and push off of the cow.  You still end up laying in the mud, but at least you avoid those hooves.  And that's farming, with a relatively domesticated old cow that's just trying to get past you and escape - not war, where some guy is deliberately charging at you, personally.  Nor does farming involve wearing 40 pounds of armor.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Deored Eirik on October 07, 2008, 02:09:38 PM
I see. Well, then the motion has been logically defeated! And I retract my thoughts on the matter: you have changed my mind.

So now REALLY looking forward to the module release....
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on October 08, 2008, 01:49:53 AM
I see. Well, then the motion has been logically defeated! And I retract my thoughts on the matter: you have changed my mind.

So now REALLY looking forward to the module release....

As I have said multiple times before - the RCM-Native package is a modder's tool, a package for people wishing to incorporate such into their mods.  It is NOT intended to be playable, at least not long-term.  (Specifically, the Native weapons loadouts are highly illogical, and highly unbalanced.)

If you want a playable RCM game, go with one of the major mods that use it.  I recommend Onin-no-Ran.  (ONR is kind of my baby ... I've been with the mod since the original RCM was designed for it and M&B .751, and the combat model is truly impressive there, as are the bright colors and Japanese feel.  Also, it's really developing fast.  Side note that a lot of the weapons in that game are my work.)  If Japan isn't your thing, there are others using RCM - for a really odd take on game balance, try Mesoamerica, where one side has guns and the other side is neolithic.  (Hint ... but don't underestimate the neolithic side, or you'll find out that metal armors don't stand up well to obsidian blades.  History is funny that way.)  TLD has an optional RCM package, but it brings out the game balance issues, so you will probably need to wait on the next version to really get anything out of that.

But if you're waiting for the new RCM-Native retrofit, you're not going to be happy.  This is not what you call "playable" - this is a baseline package for other mods.  I've been amazed at the number of people who have been trying to play it, in spite of that standing warning.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: hayate666 on October 08, 2008, 02:23:23 AM
Well that one is pretty easy to explain Ron. Even with imbalanced item load outs RCM makes for a better and more engaging game than M&B native. It's just another challenge to find your way around them.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: The Yogi on October 08, 2008, 06:53:17 AM
Yeah, and as soon as RCM native finds it's way onto my computer, I usually start changing the loadouts anyway, towards more time-homogenous mixes of arms and armour. A bit like what is being done in the 1257 mod.

If/when I get out a new version of the Weapon Size mod, I might bundle it with a Realistic Loadouts mod. Maybe I could run that one by you for a Ron Seal of Approval;). More single hand spears, axes, swords, maces, less picks and polearms, no full plate armours, transitional plate only for nobles, mail only for high tier troops, no siege crossbows, longbows only for dedicated archers... just a sprinkle of changes I would make.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Deored Eirik on October 08, 2008, 07:36:57 AM
Sure, sure. Actually, I was referring to the TLD being constructed after the Module release. I mean, M&B is already the best game I can think of, but Lord of the Rings makes it the Chief of All Games.

Heck, it even beats TETRIS! lol

So with RCM and TLD, I'll be FLMCA with NHMB!

Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on October 08, 2008, 08:39:38 AM
Whenever we get the module system for 1.0x, I'm hoping Raz will get back into the game and finish up the latest work on Holy War ... that would make for the best mix of historical European weapons and classical tactics.  HW was one of the first RCM conversions, and it did play very smooth in the .808 developers' version (not released due to other bugs and omissions).

The RCM package for the last version of TLD is mostly playable IF you give the orcs a couple of points in combat skills in the "old man" beginning options menu, and give yourself some extra money (either by importing a character or by exploiting some glitches).  It's included in the download, as an optional items.txt file.  But don't expect the next release of TLD for a while ... I haven't even been contacted about final weapons refit, so it's a LONG way from being together.  Probably several months, even AFTER we get the new module system (IF we ever get it).

And there's some new stuff coming for ONR, eventually.... I hope.  Also I have on good information that Mesoamerica will be ported to 1.0x and work resumed ASAP.

So there should be something for everybody in an RCM mod, without everyone having to entirely build their own project.  But it may be a while.

Also on that note, I miss the development of "Cult of the Big Lizard" (which was put on permanent hold due to lack of time by several key developers).  If anybody is interested in starting/resuming some kind of fantasy/fictional setting mod, I might be game to help, if I can find time around the other projects just listed here.  (OK, so that's a big "if".)
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Deored Eirik on October 08, 2008, 09:35:47 AM
Hmm. Well, maybe I'll have to use the RCM info as a base to develop one for native, if you don't mind. At least, as far as I can go with only troop and item editors. I honestly know nothing about coding.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: hayate666 on October 08, 2008, 12:07:23 PM
Yeah, and as soon as RCM native finds it's way onto my computer, I usually start changing the loadouts anyway, towards more time-homogenous mixes of arms and armour. A bit like what is being done in the 1257 mod.

If/when I get out a new version of the Weapon Size mod, I might bundle it with a Realistic Loadouts mod. Maybe I could run that one by you for a Ron Seal of Approval;). More single hand spears, axes, swords, maces, less picks and polearms, no full plate armours, transitional plate only for nobles, mail only for high tier troops, no siege crossbows, longbows only for dedicated archers... just a sprinkle of changes I would make.

Well that just made my day. Realistic weapon sizes is a great mod as it currently is and with a realistic troop loadout it would be even better!
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Shik on November 02, 2008, 12:11:39 PM
In 1.010, the base health of humans has been reduced from 45hp to 35hp, and the strength attribute now gives twice as much health as before - how will this affect RCM?
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on November 02, 2008, 03:48:17 PM
Probably not by very much, since the two should just about balance each other out.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: TheBeast on November 06, 2008, 04:06:25 PM
Whether there will be a port for version 1011?
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on November 06, 2008, 05:14:50 PM
Sorry, guys ... got a little side-tracked.  I'll try to get some more time to work on it in a bit.

Everything in Native was all re-arranged.  The current RCM numbers should be fine, for anybody porting mods.  The only issue is getting everything sorted so that RCM-Native will in fact be fully compatible with Native games.  And that was a pain, because they moved everything around.  Plus all the prices were re-balanced, and I'm not even sure if I want to go through that or not.  (As I have stated repeatedly, this is not really intended to be playable - this was a demonstration package for anybody wanting to add it to other mods.)

Anyway, maybe I'll get time and energy to finish it up in a few days.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: hayate666 on November 06, 2008, 06:30:20 PM
Just do it on your own timing and pacing. When to release a mod is always a privilege of the modder himself.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on November 06, 2008, 08:02:55 PM
Just do it on your own timing and pacing. When to release a mod is always a privilege of the modder himself.

But in this case, I just got side-tracked.  It's about two-thirds together, but I probably won't get back to it today.  It's not THAT difficult, if I could get back to it for a few hours.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: mfhberg on November 18, 2008, 12:21:30 PM
I was just testing cutting versus piercing in arrows. No headshots were counted. Shots were directed at the torso, but some may have hit legs.

Targets 8 looters (black armor, black greaves, black helmets, no weapons)

Test stat - Power Draw 5
Test weapon Warbow, damage 18 pierce or 18 cutting,
- Ammo            Damage/type      Average Damage Piercing bow/cutting bow, number of shots
 Arrows            +19 cutting            21.3/10.9                   19/29
 Barbed Arrows  +23 cutting            23.6/12.1                   17/31
 Khergit Arrows  +26 cutting            29.2/14.5                  17/31
 Bodkin Arrows   +23 piercing           29.3/11.5                  15/31

Results, +6 damage in piercing arrows over cutting arrows. This may be statistically relevant.

 I'll try it with cutting damage on the bow next to see if it still works.

Tested the damage with the same bow but 18 cutting instead of piercing. The stats show its like we already ammo damage type does not appear to  matter. Barbed at +23 cut and Bodkin at +23 pierce performed the same at 12.1 and 11.5 average damage.

It may be that adding piercing arrows to piercing bows vs adding cutting arrows to piercing bows is relevant, but adding piercing arrows to cutting bows vs adding cutting arrows to cutting bows is not relevant, but we would have to see the ammunition calculations on this.

Bah, I've got to get more shots in. I'll be trying for 100 per ammo type.

mfberg
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on November 18, 2008, 06:17:31 PM
Um, thanks, but we know the formula.

One, what formula were you using in the module.ini file?  Because RCM uses a very different one than Native.

The RCM standard is 0.5 armor value for piercing, 1.0 for cut, and no percentage reduction.  The one in Native is some convoluted mixture of point and percentage reductions that make no sense.  (Why would armor reduce damage by a percentage?  Does the armor become more dense, the harder you hit it?)  Those numbers sound like the convoluted mess from Native.  (Also, what were the armor's actual values?  Tests using RCM numbers should have resulted in at least half of hits against that much armor being zero damage.)

Also, the damage type on the arrow is not counted.  It must be included in the Python so that the file will compile properly, but it does nothing to the calculation.  Several of us have requested this be changed (so that the same bow could fire blunt, anti-armor, and broadhead arrows), but no luck.  Don't bother trying to test that.

Anyway, thanks for trying to help ... but I think you skipped a step.  I could have saved you some work....


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

Unrelated ... This is kind of on pause because I've been thinking about a bleeding damage model.  Not sure if it can be done or not, but there were some comments to that effect over in the "discussion" thread, where I asked for help on it.  It's certainly a tempting thought, if it will work at all.  (But that's a BIG "if" ... if it bogs down the system running scripts, then that is NOT what I call "working".)
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: mfhberg on November 18, 2008, 07:18:51 PM
I was just checking to see if they had changed any of the damage, but with a few more data points I see nothing has changed. (I keep hoping for damage type by ammo rather than damage type by bow). I know they could do it if they reversed how the damage was added for ammo, to make it add damage by weapon type and keep the original ammo damage.

mfberg
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on November 19, 2008, 01:39:34 AM
Yeah, several of us were wishing that they would do damage by projectile rather than launcher ... but those requests were ignored.

And yeah, I checked ... formula is the same as .890 and following.  (Significant change from the .808 formula, because now weapons could do up to like 130% of listed damage on the really long swings.  Forced a change in RCM numbers then, lowering them to about 75% of what they were, to make the final math come out the same.)

Oh well, no major changes ... makes it easier to port most mods.  Although that damage type by arrow thing would have sure been nice.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: TBR on November 29, 2008, 06:41:14 AM
Sorry, guys ... got a little side-tracked.  I'll try to get some more time to work on it in a bit.

Everything in Native was all re-arranged.  The current RCM numbers should be fine, for anybody porting mods.  The only issue is getting everything sorted so that RCM-Native will in fact be fully compatible with Native games.  And that was a pain, because they moved everything around.  Plus all the prices were re-balanced, and I'm not even sure if I want to go through that or not.  (As I have stated repeatedly, this is not really intended to be playable - this was a demonstration package for anybody wanting to add it to other mods.)

Anyway, maybe I'll get time and energy to finish it up in a few days.


 :?:
- delurking - Hi Ron! Ive been lurking here since 0.7xx, becoming an RCM devotee playing ONR. Thanks for your great work! Is there a chance for a RCM-Native port becoming available this year to tide us over till the various RCM-using mods will be ported in a few months? I Like the new 1.011 features but playing M&B without RCM gets old real fast. RCM in ONR, Native and Mesoamerica sure made those replayable. In vanilla Native I find that my favourite ONR-style horsearcher tactic doesn't work and misssile troops aren't a battlefield factor unless as slightly inferior melee troops. Storming walls and only loosing only one or two troops, if any, to missile fire feels odd. Thanks in advance - TBR
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on November 29, 2008, 07:58:35 AM
Sorry, guys ... I got sidetracked on two things.  One was something about a blood-loss model, that I had some interest in, but which is looking like it's going to take longer than a little while.  The other is just time and energy conflicts ... every time I have time, I just can't get my head wrapped around the numbers.  (There are some new models, and the order in the item file was totally scrambled.  Problems with the length checker in the new BRFEdit version aren't helping.)

I'll try to get organized in a day or two.  I got most of it, sort of....

Fujiwara was expecting to have a dev version of OnR out soon, and hopefully a public port around the first of the year or so ... if that comes around, I'm going to drop everything else and help with it first.  But of course, that would also provide RCM fans with an outlet (and the new Japanese crossbows in OnR are great, new arrow and quiver graphics, some Chinese swords - just a LOT of new stuff).

Anyway, the old numbers work ... that is, nothing much has changed since .890, as far as the numbers go.  So the urgency is not here.  This was a developers' tool, and the RCM mods don't need a new version in order to port.

Were you actually trying to PLAY the RCM retrofit to Native?  I mean more than a few minutes as a demo?  Because it's about as unbalanced as you can get.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: TBR on November 29, 2008, 08:50:18 AM
Thanks for your prompt reply!

Yes I did play RCM-Native a little bit, but as long as a ONR version was up that did never last long. But as it stands I'd rather play a "unbalanced" RCM-Native than vanilla 1.011 with it's near wothless missile troops, which are more unbalancing IMO than any imbalances in RCM-Native.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on November 29, 2008, 09:10:32 AM
Well, Native is, in my opinion, not even really playable.  The unbalancing, unreasonable, and absurd factors are so overwhelming that I could not even stand it for more than a few minutes.

(Heck, the newest version inlcuded a slashing attack with an "awlpike" that did cutting damage.  Apparently somebody doesn't know what the word "awlpike" means.)

But, even considering that ... go with the older versions if you just need something to do for a while.  M&B 1.0x didn't add that many features (and some that it did add were counter-productive).  There's still good versions of OnR for .90x, mostly debugged ... TLD and Mesoamerica for .808 (TLD-RCM requires you change the item file, replacement included in the download).  If you're just looking for entertainment, those are actually well-built projects.

I mean, you are aware that you can have multiple versions of M&B on the system at once, right?
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: mfhberg on December 10, 2008, 10:12:28 AM
Have you played with the missile velocity and damage to get more accurate ranges on some of these throwing weapons? I know you were using the 1.0 missile_damage_speed_power and .5 for melee in the module.ini so decreasing the velocity a little (for stones or such) should require a tiny increase in damage. If you test the weapons at the training centers you can probably get accurate ranges for throwing weapons, but I don't know about other ranged weapons.

mfberg

ps. in my messed up version of BoW I didn't change from the 2.0 missile_damage_speed_power and increased longbow shot velocity a bit to flatten trajectory and was shocked by the increase in damage rates the first time I tested it. Damage went up 25% for a relatively small increase in speed.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on December 11, 2008, 01:54:36 AM
Yeah, I was aware of that.  That's what the 1.0 "missile_damage_speed_power" variable is about - it flattens out that curve.  Otherwise, weapons have really high damage at launch and it drops off really fast, quite in violation of the laws of physics (unless your arrows are wearing tiny parachutes, or if you're shooting underwater). 

That "feature" (i.e. based on physics apparently modeled at the bottom of the ocean) was just one of many game engine "improvements" in .890 that it took me several days to neutralize.  But we should be good now.

And yes, the thrown weapons are pretty well tested.  I thought I had the ranges pretty close ... like, you can lob something 30 paces or so, if you're just determined, but chances of hitting anything like that are minimal.  Effective range on thrown weapons is about 15 feet, less if your skill is low.  I was watching some students throw javelins at a track-and-field event when I modeled the numbers the first time, using their ranges as max effective throw, and their average deviation off of centerline as accuracy adjustment - that was the best I could do for realism, as it is considered very bad manners for modern riot police to use javelins on crowds.

I also checked the damage on zero-armor targets and dummies, to make sure everything was adding up.  Use 1.0 for missile_damage_speed_power, and it works.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on January 13, 2009, 07:40:54 AM
Guys:

Alpha version of RCM-Native for 1.0x:

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=VZ8FRAWN

Done mostly in cut and paste - so prices are not balanced to the new numbers.  Also, may contain errors - if you find anything odd, tell me ASAP.  I'll try to fix it as quickly as possible.

Help me test it ... and hopefully a less bugged version can be made available soon.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: hayate666 on January 13, 2009, 08:49:47 AM
Hurray! I'll get to testing it asap. Any specific things to look out for?
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on January 13, 2009, 09:03:50 AM
Well, I already found the bug about the "light leather boots" mesh being wrong ... an error from my cut-and-paste job.  I'll look into it next round of changes.  (Meanwhile, just select OK on the error message, and then don't try to use the light leather boots.)  And I know the prices are all screwed up, but I didn't volunteer to sort all of that out - as I have said before, this is not really supposed to be playable.  It's just a demo of the RCM scale, for anyone developing mods of their own.

Blurb for something only nominally related - I proposed work on a fantasy-theme mod, in the "requests and suggestions", but have not found any help so far.  So for everybody who suggested that I actually build a playable mod, here's your chance to chip in.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Wood on January 13, 2009, 11:33:13 AM
I haven't had chance to play it properly yet, but looking at the numbers I can see a couple of problems. The speed ratings on most of the spears and some of the two handed weapons are off. By a lot. The damage numbers feel good but these weapons are far too slow.

If I didn't know better I'd think you'd fallen into the popular trap of thinking that axes were only swung by fur clad madmen, with plenty of time for a nimble hero to roll or dodge out of the way. This just isn't how axes are used. Spears aren't made out of whole tree trunks either.

I don't mean to sound rude, sorry, but it just really annoys me.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: hayate666 on January 13, 2009, 12:44:48 PM
@ Wood: Proficiency, strength and agility matter a lot when using two handed weapons. Using a two handed weapon with skill requires training. Try using them when you've leveled up a little and see if you notice anything different. I found axe speeds to be consistent with what I know of other RCM mods.

@ Ron:

I'll report my first finds:

Equipment used:

- Hunting bow (10c), barbed arrows (+35)
- Spear (36c)
- Two handed axe (40p)
- One handed war axe (32p)
- Thick steel shield

Armor worn:

- Mail coif (+45)
- Crude mail with surcoat (+59b/+29l)
- Mail boots (+35)
- Mail gloves (+8)

Horse:

- Heavy sumpter horse (speed 44, charge 13)

- Armor values between several leather or light armors seem somewhat off. P.E: A leather warrior cap offers 18 armor, while a leather body armor offers only 10. Even a linen tunic has a total armor value of 11, so you might want to check that.

- Blood loss doesn't seem to work. Is it even implemented yet? I shot 12 looters in the chest or leg for 25-40 damage and started running circles around them. Not a single one of them went down. Found the same happening with sea raiders and I didn't ever lose blood myself.

- Bow damage seems to be nicely balanced. 1 - 2 shots to the unarmored/lightly armored chest with a hunting bow. 1 to the unarmed head always worked. Chain mail wearing guys went down in 2-3 shots to the chest each. Haven't tried head shots against medium armor yet, nor tested against heavy armor. 

- My shield doesn't break. Ever. I've had 6 sea raiders with axes hacking away at it and I only went down because they were able to walk behind me and chop me in the back.

- Couching a spear makes too big a difference between several armor types it seems. I've tested against unarmored, light armored and chain armored so far. The first two categories went down in one blow at full speed with at least 60 damage with light armor needing two passes about 1/3d of the time, while the chain mail guys took about 30-40 damage at full speed, never enough to kill. I suspect this is even less with heavy armor, but I haven't tested it so far.

- Spears do very (and I think too) little when used on foot. Even against unarmored guys the damage is 20 max. Is this supposed to be so?

- Two handed axes feel good. Damage is consistent across unarmored, light armored and medium armored. Haven't tested against heavy armor yet.

- Medium head armor doesn't protect against head shots at all. I've found that one out while fighting against a couple of sea raiders multiple times. Shots to the chest vary nicely. It's not a good idea to suck them up, but you're usually able to take 2 to 3 in medium armor. (Mail with surcoat) Is this supposed to be so?

- The Kerghit bow does a lot less damage than a short bow or even a hunting bow, while requiring a power draw skill of 5.

- Horses feel slower. They seem to take longer to reach top speed and seem to turn slower than they used to.

I'll keep looking and reporting anything I find.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Wood on January 13, 2009, 06:37:27 PM
I'm really impressed with the javelins. Good up close and still fairly reliable at a short distance, it feels great, much better than in previous RCM versions. The archery is also good although I would prefer if accuracy was more dependent on skill levels than on the bow used. Even so, it's much better overall. Crossbows, though, feel underpowered, even the stronger ones struggle to take down poorly armoured targets in one or two hits.

Anyway, when I finally get around with porting my mod this should speed things up considerably, so thankyou!
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on January 13, 2009, 09:11:03 PM
Let's see ...

Do make sure you are using the correct module.ini values.  If you forget to change that, it will screw up the numbers considerably.  New module.ini was included in the download.

Hayate:

Yeah, some of the lighter armors may be off ... I'll check on them.

The blood loss script is a different critter - while I plan to add it to future RCM projects, it cannot be contained in one file like that.  If you want to play with it, you will have to put it in yourself, for now.

The shields - I set them up so that minor blows do nothing, but if you really hit them hard, they break in one stroke.  That is more like my observations of actual strikes against plywood ... you can't really wear it out, since strikes are for the most part not landing in the same place each time.

European-type spears are supposed to be a little weak on results.  They were generally made for peasants, or expected to be broken, and therefore usually cheap and dull.  Unlike, for example, the Japanese yari - that were made to the same specifications as their swords.  Pretty much every European spear point I have seen in museums was just wrought iron, often with no sharpened edge at all.  Unless you hit somebody in the eye with that, he's probably not going down on the first hit.  (A barbed javelin only works because it leaves the spear in the target, so he goes down just because he can't fight with a darn spear sticking out of his body ... but if you withdraw the spear, you lose that effect as well.)

A solid hit with those spears, against zero armor, should come out to a max of about 40 points base damage ... more with power strike and skill bonus.  So they can still be quite deadly, if handled well, in spite of their weakness in design.  Their performance against armor will not be so impressive - unlike a hammer, you get no real leverage bonus on a spear ... so unless you hit them with the speed of a charging horse, they will still not be the most effective weapons out there.

The bows are a long story.  Effective .890, there were changes to the way power draw was handled... not good changes.  As a result, bows with high power draw requirements have to be reverse-scaled as much as possible, to prevent the bonus from becoming absurd.  They are well tested - final damage numbers come out right. 

Maille was historically only about 50% effective against arrows.  If that 50% is on your head, well, an arrow going through even a little bit can get pretty serious pretty fast.  Try it with heavier head armor, see if they are still going through too easily.


Wood:

I've used a few axes, both splitting firewood and testing them as weapons.  They are much slower than swords, for reasons of balance.  Likewise, spears are slow because of their length - it takes more energy to control a long weapon than a short one, and that energy slows your aiming and striking time.  My brother and I ran some extensive tests on these things, several years ago.  I'm not new to spears ... you surely don't want me after you with a naginata.  It's not "popular thinking", trust me - it's test results.  (I do love a good axe - I've even suggested hatchets as home-defense weapons and/or something to leave under the seat of the car.  The Cherokee tomahawk was probably the first weapon I ever learned to use - and a most terrifying weapon, I should say.)

Do note that agility and skill in M&B make a huge difference on weapon speed.  With those values improved, the big axes and such become much faster, almost too fast.  However, at very low skill and agility, they do appear really clumsy - this is not a bug.

The crossbows are set to pierce damage, assuming conical or square cross-section anti-armor tips.  Like practice points on modern arrows, these don't do much damage to meat.  Almost anybody could likely take one of those and not go down immediately, unless it hit head or spine, and the small point would reduce the chances of spine damage as well.

Several of us asked that the M&B engine determine damage type off of the projectile rather than the bow/crossbow (which would allow both kinds of points), but the request was ignored.  So as a management decision, I went with anti-armor for the crossbows and broadheads for the regular bows.  This is a compromise with the game engine, not a bug.

Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: hayate666 on January 14, 2009, 06:30:33 AM
Hayate:

Yeah, some of the lighter armors may be off ... I'll check on them.

The blood loss script is a different critter - while I plan to add it to future RCM projects, it cannot be contained in one file like that.  If you want to play with it, you will have to put it in yourself, for now.

The shields - I set them up so that minor blows do nothing, but if you really hit them hard, they break in one stroke.  That is more like my observations of actual strikes against plywood ... you can't really wear it out, since strikes are for the most part not landing in the same place each time.

European-type spears are supposed to be a little weak on results.  They were generally made for peasants, or expected to be broken, and therefore usually cheap and dull.  Unlike, for example, the Japanese yari - that were made to the same specifications as their swords.  Pretty much every European spear point I have seen in museums was just wrought iron, often with no sharpened edge at all.  Unless you hit somebody in the eye with that, he's probably not going down on the first hit.  (A barbed javelin only works because it leaves the spear in the target, so he goes down just because he can't fight with a darn spear sticking out of his body ... but if you withdraw the spear, you lose that effect as well.)

A solid hit with those spears, against zero armor, should come out to a max of about 40 points base damage ... more with power strike and skill bonus.  So they can still be quite deadly, if handled well, in spite of their weakness in design.  Their performance against armor will not be so impressive - unlike a hammer, you get no real leverage bonus on a spear ... so unless you hit them with the speed of a charging horse, they will still not be the most effective weapons out there.

The bows are a long story.  Effective .890, there were changes to the way power draw was handled... not good changes.  As a result, bows with high power draw requirements have to be reverse-scaled as much as possible, to prevent the bonus from becoming absurd.  They are well tested - final damage numbers come out right. 

Maille was historically only about 50% effective against arrows.  If that 50% is on your head, well, an arrow going through even a little bit can get pretty serious pretty fast.  Try it with heavier head armor, see if they are still going through too easily.

I keep forgetting about the bow damage. I believe I've reported it every time I tested RCM mods :-[
I've tested a bit more today.

* Breaking shields works as you described. I started bashing shields with a two handed axe from horseback and most of them shattered in one blow.

* Maces seem to do very little against (the higher end) medium armors and upwards. A winged mace vs a heraldic mail with tabard (63 body/34 leg) was only able to damage me once every 6 blows taken. Even then, the damage was very low.

* Armored war horses rarely take damage. (Charger, 85 armor) I went up against 15 Khergit lancers who shot me and my horse. My horse didn't get any damage from any arrow while I got only 1 or 2 damage total. Then I let them beat me up with their maces, but even that seemed to do very little. Occasionally about 11 damage, but that was only 1 in 8 blows.

* The "death of a thousand cuts" doesn't seem to work as it should. I went solo against a whole village of farmers armed with my war axe, thick steel shield and the heraldic armor I reported in my previous sentence. There were 100 peasants. When I had about 50 left, my horse was cut from under me. I expected to be mauled to death with damage between 0-2 per blow, but not a single one did even one damage. Even being knock backed like with Onin No Ran doesn't seem to happen. I was able to keep swinging my axe without blocking and finished them all off. The villagers were armed with the usual peasant stuff (kitchen knives, pitchforks, clubs, hand axes)

* Later I tried to solo a group of peasants in close combat while fighting with a bow. I could take all the time I wanted to aim while they were bashing away at me. I treated them all to an arrow in the brain. No damage for me and I wasn't even trying to defend myself this time.

* Couching a lance seems to work OK. As soon as I exchanged my spear for a better polearm, the damage was back to what I'm used to from other RCM mods.

* Spears on foot: when using a shield in one hand and a spear in the other, damage never came above 25 against peasants. Removing the shield should put it at about 40. Those work OK.

* Heavy armor protects very well against head shots from a hunting bow. They rarely did any damage at all. Body shots never did any damage. (in the 10 shots I fired before giving up)

Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on January 14, 2009, 06:57:58 AM
There is a new value in the Module.ini file, minimum damage for melee attack interrupt.  I forgot to change it first time.  Set it back to zero, like it was before.

A one-handed mace is not much of a weapon.  And that pile of rust called a "winged mace" in Native ... that's not even much of a mace.  It should do light damage against medium armor.  Do note that, when brigandine and partial plate armors appeared in Europe, the mace went totally out of style ... while two-handed hammers and picks, and other such pole-axes, became standard.  The standard mace was about what a good claw hammer is today - terrifying if you're not wearing armor, sure, but not really a "heavy" weapon, and not really a first-round knock-out unless you hit them in the head (or just get lucky and break a collarbone or some such).

The horse armor works as intended.  If you have never seen the Renaissance plate armors for horses, find one in a museum and look it over - preferably one of the good German or Italian-made ones.  It's astounding ... the Germans turned a horse into a panzer, I swear.  Articulated plate, just like the Maximilian tournament plate armors for people - not even air could get between those plates - and every bit as heavy as the human counterpart.  I don't know how I would attack something like that ... it wouldn't be easy.

Anyway, the module.ini line is an error:

damage_interrupt_attack_threshold      = 3.0

should read:

damage_interrupt_attack_threshold      = 0


Good find ... I knew that was in there, but forgot to change it.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: mfhberg on January 14, 2009, 09:23:44 AM
The winged mace in native should have 4 -  6 wings, sharpened, with a heavy head. With a crows beak profile (flat top, sharp pointed curve, flattening out to meet the shaft).

 I've seen a two handed sword and a one handed mace used against rigidly held similar metal plates (of course its not scientific, but it was demonstrative). Swinging the tip of the sword cut through the metal about a 3 inch cut, the edge of the sword barely even dented it. The mace wing poked a triangular hole through the metal and rested with the whole wing on the inside of the metal, the rest of the head just dented the metal more. That's an armor piercing mace. A blunted mace would not have done as much, except to deform the metal.

I'll look and have some fun with this.

mfberg
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: hayate666 on January 14, 2009, 09:40:47 AM
I tried some horse combat just know. Some things caught my attention:

* Running down a footman in light armor with an armored horse does about 10 damage 90% of the time, sometimes 15, one time 20. This means I can run a guy over about 4 to 5 times before he decides it's better to stay down. Isn't this damage too low?

* If tank is what you were aiming for with the armored horses than you got that about right. No matter how much abuse I treat my horsey to, it just won't go down! I haven't had a single blow to it deal over 5 damage and it has never taken any damage from arrow fire. By the end of the battle he looked like a pin cushion, but he hadn't taken a single point of hit point damage.

edit: I finally got my horse killed once, after parking in a group of footman armed with axes.

Concerning archery:

* Crossbows do even damage across the board, while normal bow damage sinks greatly when the quality of armor increases. As in previous RCM mods.

I've thought a bit on how this works out and have thought out a different proposal. I have read that the main advantage of the crossbow was its ease of use. It didn't have better penetrating power than a longbow and its rate of fire was way lower, but any militia could learn to effectively use it within days. A skilled longbowman could fire three times quicker than a crossbowman could, but it required years of training to do so.

Yet for this game I need to invest in power draw as well as in strength to use a longbow, while I only need to invest in strength to use a crossbow. So in my opinion the difference in ease of use is represented, but not the advantage of training with a longbow. Therefore, wouldn't it be viable to give only the larger normal bows piercing damage as the crossbows to represent this? The piercing damage should be set somewhat lower than that of a siege crossbow of course, but being able to use the longbow should represent the advantages it historically had.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on January 14, 2009, 10:09:21 AM
mfhberg:

Yeah, we all know what a mace is supposed to look like ... but I didn't make the models.

The way it is calculated, a one-handed mace (damage 20 to 24 or so, depending on design), being blunt or pierce damage (again, depending on design), would be equal to double that in cut damage ... so it is still better at damaging armor than any one-handed sword, and near to two-handed ones.   That would match the test you describe, and also my own tests and others I have referenced, which gave similar results.

If I were doing my own mod from scratch, I would scrap all the Native models that were apparently built on the planet Zorf, and replace them with something that was at least remotely similar to what I was trying to portray.  But we'll save that for another project.

Hayate:

Having been run over by a few cows, back growing up in the sticks (some people would call it suicide ... we called it "farming"), I can honestly say that you can get hit pretty hard by an animal and still develop a keen desire to get back on your feet before it comes back for another pass.  My dad entered a rodeo bull ride once, and ended up with the bull actually kicking him out of the air and then jumping on his midsection with all four hooves several times ... and he still walked away (although nobody knows how). 

Getting brushed aside or stepped on by a horse or cow is most painful ... but it is seldom an immediately debilitating wound.  The only exception is if the bull actually has sharp horns, in which case it can hook you and shake you to death.  Metal horseshoes make being stepped on a little worse, but not substantially.  So no, I don't think it's low.  It's pretty accurate.


On the arrows, I figured it a fair compromise.  I have seen a fair number of European crossbow bolts that used anti-armor heads, so it seems a reasonable compromise.  Do not forget that, after the power draw bonus is added, the longbows will have equal or greater penetrating power than the lighter crossbows, plus higher damage to meat and the mentioned rate of fire.  It took a while to calculate that, actually, but it does work out.

But really heavy armor will take the sting out of the crossbows as well ... all but the heaviest ones, at least.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: mfhberg on January 14, 2009, 10:40:43 AM
The damage looks good, I was able to calculate who to swing at, and what directions to swing while running towards looters (that is my first test, using a two handed sword to chop through a group of four unarmored men in one run).

Put on heavy armor vs sea raiders (90 head, 101 body, 98 legs) and it took quite awhile to get killed, it only took 4 damaging hits (about 17 damage each), but those were the battle axes. Lance damage looks good, at speed I'm getting about 100- vs. unarmored.

mfberg
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: hayate666 on January 14, 2009, 01:44:20 PM
* Tempered Nordic swords do less damage than untempered ones. I'm not sure what tempering is supposed to do however, so it may be correct.



Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Wood on January 14, 2009, 05:20:30 PM
Just noticed that a lot of the helmets have the wrong models, the older ones instead of the newer shiny ones. This might apply to other items as well.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on January 14, 2009, 08:00:30 PM
Just noticed that a lot of the helmets have the wrong models, the older ones instead of the newer shiny ones. This might apply to other items as well.

As I said, I did a lot of this cut-and-paste from the older version.  There may be a lot of that kind of stuff.  Again, this is not supposed to be a finished product or a playable mod, just a demo of the RCM scale ... so I don't really care if the graphics are perfect.



* Tempered Nordic swords do less damage than untempered ones. I'm not sure what tempering is supposed to do however, so it may be correct.


There are several different kinds of swords named "Nordic sword".  See if it's the same sword (i.e. a problem in the game) or if you are comparing dissimilar items.

Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: hayate666 on January 15, 2009, 03:37:28 AM
Well, visually they look the same. It's only a minor difference in damage, 2 points of damage I believe.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on January 15, 2009, 04:05:25 AM
Well, visually they look the same. It's only a minor difference in damage, 2 points of damage I believe.

Odd ... I have no idea what that means.  If I catch it, I'll try to figure it out... but meanwhile, assume it is a minor glitch.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: hayate666 on January 15, 2009, 04:09:55 AM
I've noticed something odd in the crossbow department as well. Masterwork versions of crossbows have a strength requirement that is about 4 greater than the regular version. A light crossbow requires 8 strength, while a masterwork light crossbow requires 12. I've seen this for siege crossbows as well, but I forgot to write down the exact numbers.

edit: As for the regular bows: Longbows and such are usable from horseback. I don't know if this is something RCM wants to fix, but it looks very odd. Only the shorter composite bows should be usable from horseback.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on January 15, 2009, 04:36:18 AM
I did not check the new mod bits ... they may all be screwed up.  It may be necessary to disable a number of them.



Even the "longbow" in Native isn't really a very long bow ... it's more of a "somewhat-longer-than-a-shortbow bow".  The actual English "longbow" was often substantially longer than human height (almost twice, in some cases), and it really would be a pain to use from horse.  But we don't really have one of those in the game.

The Japanese used bows of six feet or more from horse, and still do in modern sport archery competitions, so I know it can be done.  It's inconvenient ... but for that matter, doing anything from the back of a stupid horse is pretty inconvenient.

So no, I wasn't really worrying about the bows.  It didn't look all that odd to me.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: hayate666 on January 16, 2009, 07:25:17 AM
I've tested a bit more today.

* The fighting axe is a bit of a strange axe when comparing stats with other axes. It has superior reach and speed when compared to other one handed axes, while its damage is a bit lower. Compare the one handed battle axe, which has the same strength requirement to use. Visually the axe looks about as large as a two handed axe. Are those stats correct?

Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on January 16, 2009, 07:51:12 AM
Those stats were originally based on the Native numbers, and somewhat retained for game balance ... i.e. I adjusted from Native scale to RCM scale, I did not re-balance the weapons themselves.  You will also see some armors that do not conform to historical standards, done the same way.

I think that was the one that had a long model so, in order to put that much reach on a one-handed axe, I had to assume it was extremely light (i.e. lower damage).  It also figures faster than the non-weapon axes, on the theory that weaponized axes are better balanced for combat.  Those were accommodations necessary to keep the weapon in its place in the game.

Actually, visually, all of the Native axes look a little odd, in one way or another.

I'll check it, but it's probably nothing.  Just one more reason I say that RCM-Native is not really set up to be long-term playable.

I'll replace the bloody thing in my actual mod project, or else completely re-scale it.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: hayate666 on January 17, 2009, 05:32:44 AM
Testing throwing weapons was next on the list and they're looking good! Riding through a group of men armed with javelins and throwing axes is a really bad idea. Even heavy armor only protects so much against it. (about 10 damage per javelin, more for axes) The AI seems to use throwing weapons a lot better since the last version, but they seem to get a lot of range on the throwing axe sometimes. It's a bit hard to explain, but they're able to throw somewhat effectively at the same range as I can comfortably shoot a bow. If you want to test this for yourself, go pick a fight with a Nord war party.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on January 17, 2009, 06:00:55 AM
The AI in this version seems to be somewhat better at getting the arc right on thrown objects.  I've set the axes and stones about as slow as I can, without them looking like they're moving in slow motion.  Just that, if you stay in one place too long, the enemy will start hurling projectiles into the air at extremely high trajectories and raining them down on you.  I might be able to lower the accuracy a bit to account for this sort of thing, but in general, short of re-writing the AI or making sure troops don't have absurdly high thrown weapon skill, I'm not sure there is a way around it.  The computer just has an advantage when calculating parabolic flight paths.

But yes, I noticed the same thing with the stones thrown by looters.  And that's with RCM stats ... in Native, they could throw stones with the same trajectory as a rifle shot, and they would come screaming past your head from 300 feet away.  Something not quite right there, but I'm having trouble nailing it down.

And yeah, javelins are murder on armor.  Cross-sectional density (ratio of weight to frontal surface area) is so high that it's just not going to stop... and then they hang in the target and cause more damage in the removal process.  That's why the Romans made such good use of them.  Of course, the short range eventually made them obsolete, when longbows, heavy crossbows, and guns started to dominate the field.  But they are and always will be a formidable surprise for about 30 paces.  Also don't overlook use of javelins against shields ... you can't really fight with a spear sticking out of your shield.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: hayate666 on January 19, 2009, 11:03:25 AM
* Strength requirements on some of the bigger weapons look a bit strange. A heavy bardiche with a weight of 4.5 requires 11 strength, while a poleaxe with about the same stats and a bigger weight doesn't have a strength requirement.

Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on January 19, 2009, 11:24:51 AM
* Strength requirements on some of the bigger weapons look a bit strange. A heavy bardiche with a weight of 4.5 requires 11 strength, while a poleaxe with about the same stats and a bigger weight doesn't have a strength requirement.



Yeah, more Native bugs that I forgot to fix (or just wasn't paying that much attention).
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: mfhberg on January 20, 2009, 02:26:49 PM
Has anyone tested the relative effectiveness of troops carrying the new native style swing and poke spears vs. the old spear with just the thrust?

mfberg
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: hayate666 on January 20, 2009, 07:11:13 PM
I've tested every weapon combination possible so far, so I can report on that. Spear wielding troops on foot are incredibly ineffective against about every opponent possible, especially cavalry. I've fought looters that were able to own my spear wielding character. Spears are slow, unwieldy because of the length and do little damage. From horseback they're very good, whether you want to couch them or just manually stab in anything moving. 

Effective swing and poke weapons on foot are limited to halberds and other pole axes/hammers. They do decent damage when swinging them, but you need support to be able to actually be able to swing them against opponents. Even a kitchen knife is more effective if you're alone against other troops.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on January 20, 2009, 08:35:54 PM
Long before Native borrowed the idea, I think I started that with OnR ... the Japanese yari was actually used as a glaive of sorts, more than a "spear" in the Western sense.  (The M&B dev team are big fans of OnR ... that's been posted a few times.)

In a word, large, heavy weapons (pole-axes or whatever) are seldom effective unless you get lucky or have good support nearby.  A short, fast weapon will allow most people to rush the heavy ... which is why modern muggers carry knives and crowbars, but seldom make an attack with a sledgehammer.

Unless you're just very good with one, European-type spears are not much of a weapon.  Like fighting with a chain - for most people, a first-strike weapon only.  Spears do offer longer reach, which is valuable if fighting from a tight group, but likely useless one-on-one.  Realistically, almost anybody can pass the point of a single spear with few if any injuries.  A man on a horse is not so lucky in that regard, as the horse will pretty much hold him exactly in the spear's engagement envelope ... but still, if he is wearing any armor at all, sticking him with that thing is not going to be easy.

Historical note - the point of the "pike push" (use of spears from a block) was to drive an enemy back, more than to kill them directly.  Looking at the points of a dozen spears is psychologically disconcerting, to say the least, especially if you have a short weapon.  It's not just one ... a dozen of those guys will get a shot at you before you can reach their lines.  Also true of ranged weapons - knife against bow, crossbow, or gun at distance is an already decided outcome, but knife against gun inside a phone booth, and my money is on the knife every time.

Part of the RCM objective was to put realistic limitations on weapons.  There should not be a lot of "better" weapons - every weapon should have a predictable function and a predictable weakness.  Spears and heavy polearms give reach, but cost big in speed and versatility.  Heavy polearms also add high damage to that, while the primary bonus of spears is that they are cheap to build.  Either way, they're only effective under particular conditions.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Conners on January 23, 2009, 06:44:18 PM
Hmm... I'm wondering how I can help with bug-hunting, assuming you want it done for the 1.0+ version.

The only things I've noticed, is that my arrows always seem to do fifty damage and take a more-lightly armoured enemy down--even if I hit him in the leg. My bow was a Long bow, of course, and I was using Bobkin and Barbed arrows.
Is this the desired effect? Makes sense that someone wouldn't feel like jogging into battle if they had an arrow planted deep into their leg (especially if it went into the bone)...
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on January 23, 2009, 08:47:57 PM
Yeah, well, odds of an arrow wound being immediately debilitating first-hit are about 50%, all other factors being equal.  (Those numbers are about 30 to 35% on a bullet wound, depending on size and velocity of bullet, incidentally.  90% for second bullet hit, 98% for third.  - NATO study.)  Higher skill, stronger bows and more scary-looking arrows will increase that substantially ... armor will decrease it substantially.  (That assumes random shot placement ... obviously hits to more vital areas were factored in with hits that were little more than a graze.)

Arrows cut a really wide swath.  A sharp arrowhead will take out all kinds of arteries and nerves, slice through bone, and generally cause total havoc.  A gruesome and frightening weapon, by any standard.  I grew up hunting - I've seen what arrows do to living tissue, and it's horrible.  An inch-wide broadhead will effectively take an arm or leg completely off.  (There will still be meat holding it to the body, but you cut the bone, primary nerves and arteries, you might as well cut it the rest of the way off.)  Most people would go into shock immediately from pain and drop in blood pressure.  A leg hit is no joke ... it's not like a bullet wound to the leg.

That was the objective.

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

If you're just looking for something to help with, check out my new fantasy project:

http://mbx.streetofeyes.com/index.php/topic,1653.0.html

Need all the help I can get for that.  And incidentally, it's RCM as well, but I am trying to phase out all the wonky Native models (you know, the ones that apparently portray ancient weapons from the planet Zorf) in favor of my own, so I can model them somewhat realistically.  If you care for fantasy themes at all, or even if you're just looking for a good fight scene, I fully plan to get some results there.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Conners on January 23, 2009, 11:56:13 PM
Yeah, well, odds of an arrow wound being immediately debilitating first-hit are about 50%, all other factors being equal.  (Those numbers are about 30 to 35% on a bullet wound, depending on size and velocity of bullet, incidentally.  90% for second bullet hit, 98% for third.  - NATO study.)  Higher skill, stronger bows and more scary-looking arrows will increase that substantially ... armor will decrease it substantially.  (That assumes random shot placement ... obviously hits to more vital areas were factored in with hits that were little more than a graze.)

Arrows cut a really wide swath.  A sharp arrowhead will take out all kinds of arteries and nerves, slice through bone, and generally cause total havoc.  A gruesome and frightening weapon, by any standard.  I grew up hunting - I've seen what arrows do to living tissue, and it's horrible.  An inch-wide broadhead will effectively take an arm or leg completely off.  (There will still be meat holding it to the body, but you cut the bone, primary nerves and arteries, you might as well cut it the rest of the way off.)  Most people would go into shock immediately from pain and drop in blood pressure.  A leg hit is no joke ... it's not like a bullet wound to the leg.

That was the objective.

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

If you're just looking for something to help with, check out my new fantasy project:

http://mbx.streetofeyes.com/index.php/topic,1653.0.html

Need all the help I can get for that.  And incidentally, it's RCM as well, but I am trying to phase out all the wonky Native models (you know, the ones that apparently portray ancient weapons from the planet Zorf) in favor of my own, so I can model them somewhat realistically.  If you care for fantasy themes at all, or even if you're just looking for a good fight scene, I fully plan to get some results there.
Ah, OK. I figured it would be about right--it just was a bit surprising that my character could kill bandits without really trying very hard at all xD.

Have you ever heard of someone's head being taken off with a mighty bow? I'm 90% sure this is purely fiction, but I might as well ask.

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

I'd be glad to help however I can! My main skills are writing (story, conversations, back stories, personalities, monster detailing, pretty wide a range), imaginative and constructive ideas, and testing. Hope I can help through one or several of those talents...

Fantasy of the type you're going for is one of my favourite subjects, so I'll be pretty well in my element with this.

PS: Some of the native weapon models might be good as Alien/Monster weapons in your fantasy mod (or perhaps for some ancient empire which died out because its weapons were poorly designed XD).
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on January 24, 2009, 12:53:23 AM
The human head is attached by a column of muscles four inches wide, across the back of the neck, as well as the spine.  Even if an impact breaks the spine (which is possible with a projectile, although uncommon), completely removing it is going to require cutting or tearing all of those muscles.  It would be hard to take somebody's head completely off with an axe, unless the axe had a really wide blade and the target was stationary.

Now, killing or disabling the target does not require taking the head off, or even close.

For data ... I myself hit a whitetail deer in the head with an arrow.  (Wounded deer, had already taken one arrow, needed to finish it off before it ran again.)  About 20 paces, 65 pound draw compound bow, stainless steel three-blade broadhead.  Went through the deer's upper spine and skull clear to the feathers, like it was nothing.  Completely cut the spine, split the skull three ways.  No substantial damage to any of the other neck muscles, the head never moved.  (Back at the house, they joked that I "ran down a live deer and shot it in the head with an arrow."  Nobody ever really doubted my lethality with a bow, but the way they told it, they made it sound like I was some kind of uber-assassin, instead of somebody who just flubbed the first shot.)

If you can find an example of a head shot with a stronger bow than that, be my guest ... but I'm going to say that, in a word, completely removing a head is going to require either 1. a blade more than five inches in cutting surface (sword, broadaxe, NOT an arrowhead), 2. the kind of energy more associated with a car accident than a projectile weapon (i.e. artillery, being hit by a train, that sort of thing), or 3. shearing effect (i.e. the guillotine, or a giant pair of scissors ... you see this sort of thing in car and industrial accidents sometimes).  A head can be disintegrated by #2 above, which is more common in wars and accidents with explosives than many people care to think about ... including ancient wars where the artillery was ballista, catapult, and wall or tripod-mounted super-heavy crossbow.

But tearing someone's head completely off with a conventional bow or man-portable crossbow ... I say "myth".

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

To be honest, killing really doesn't require that much physical effort.  This is evidenced every year by the number of adolescent street gangs who kill and maim hundreds worldwide, either in the process of other crimes or just because they can, with few or no skills themselves.  An 8-year-old farm boy with a .22 rifle or a 30-pound-draw toy bow is a DEADLY opponent, if he decides to level down on you and fire.  Do not forget that.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: hayate666 on January 25, 2009, 03:35:39 AM
I'm pretty much done testing now. Every weapon has been tried. Do you still need anything specific look at?
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on January 25, 2009, 03:42:13 AM
I'm pretty much done testing now. Every weapon has been tried. Do you still need anything specific look at?

No, we're good.  I'll see about doing a final version later.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Shik on April 11, 2009, 02:34:10 PM
Hey Ron, I went in and fixed the minor flag/mesh issues in your RCM module_items. (some items were using old meshes, and some wooden items were missing the itp_wooden_attack or itp_wooden_block flags)

Is it alright with you if I upload it to the mbrepository?
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on April 11, 2009, 04:55:31 PM
Hey Ron, I went in and fixed the minor flag/mesh issues in your RCM module_items. (some items were using old meshes, and some wooden items were missing the itp_wooden_attack or itp_wooden_block flags)

Is it alright with you if I upload it to the mbrepository?

Go ahead ... make sure you fix that entry in the module.ini, where hits that do no damage still stun.  (It was mentioned, but I think the last release still had damage stun threshold at like 3 ... should be zero.)
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Shik on April 18, 2009, 06:02:10 PM
http://www.mbrepository.com/modules/PDdownloads/singlefile.php?cid=6&lid=1212 (http://www.mbrepository.com/modules/PDdownloads/singlefile.php?cid=6&lid=1212)

Changes: All items use 1.011 meshes now
             Some items that have been commented out have been put back in to fix some of the scenes that were broken by the latest M&B versions. They are non-merchandise, so they will not interfere with the RCM.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: mfhberg on April 22, 2009, 01:41:08 PM
I've got to refigure my horses now. My character took a ride on a steppe horse and it was a barrel racer, my framerate couldn't keep up with the turns. Lots of fun.



mfberg
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Moss on June 03, 2009, 03:20:38 AM
Hi,
I've been a fan of the RCM for quite a while, I've been playing around with it since at least .808 when I first came across it in Onin No Ran and it's one of my favourite mods for the game.

However, although I love the effect the mod has on combat and gameplay, especially the interplay of weapon type and armour use, the model does suffer from one or two issues that seems to keep people away from the mod. Although the general consensus amongst people I've talked to about it is that the balance improves gameplay and the general feel of the game there's one issue that I've heard over and over again from several people that keep them from playing with an RCM, the axes.

The problem with axes is kind of obvious. They're too good at making things dead. Although the lower speed somewhat balances this, it's not really enough to compensate for the damage, armor piercing and reach the weapons have, and for the obvious reasons the swing speed can't be lowered further without making them useless, if not completely comical.

Not really being a fan of two handers myself this never really caused too much concern for me (except of course when an axe was swinging at my face), I never really bothered with it until now. It occurred to me the other day, as my sword bounced off a bandits stick as I galoped past that some weapons really weren't designed for parrying. So as I was going through disabling the blocks on the weapons that I didn't think it possible to block a sword with without breaking the weapon or your  hand (hatchets, short maces, clubs, anything else that no sane man would get into a sword fight with without a shield) I came across the axes. Now from what I know about axes, (which is admittedly restricted to knocking down trees with them) the way their handled in Mount&Blade is rather unrealistic. They're rather unwieldy things, and intentionally so, and for the life of me I couldn't really imagine trying to use one to parry a sword, let alone a two-handed axe or great sword, considering both the difficulty getting the haft in place to block the blow and the dubious intelligence of attempting to block a sharp steel object with a relatively thin piece of wood.

From what I've seen in recordings of axe fighting and from my own experience handling tools similar to them, my first response when faced with a sword or shield wielder holding a large axe should be to keep them at distance and try to keep them off balance.

In short I disabled blocking for the axes and added a blunt damage thrusting attack, about half the damage of the standard attack, using the more appropriate, and rather aesthetically pleasing, two handed polearm thrust animation. I've been testing it for the last hour or two and I have to say it works beautifully. Without the ability to block the axe becomes a whole new thing, you have to think offense and footwork. Although the thrust of the axe is much faster than it's swing it's damage is pretty negligible, however by using it to keep your enemies at a distance and to keep them off balance and unable to strike it becomes incredibly effective, as long as you stay on the offensive and pick your footwork they remain effective weapons, but they now have a functional flaw that makes other weapons an attractive option. I find it balances the axe out perfectly, although it's reach and damage remain excellent, other weapons are now attractive for their increased defensive abilities, for much the same reasons that two handed axes weren't the most common weapons on historical battlefields.

I've since returned the thrust parry to the axe, seeing as it should be both possible and fairly easy to do with an axe, considering that it's just turning a blade away, rather than blocking it's whole force with the haft. This returns it's viability against polearms, allowing it to close inside their reach, whilst retaining the offensive playstyle for the axe. Interestingly enough it also seems to work quite well with the AI as well, who instead of attempting to go on the defensive trying to block the faster swings of smaller weapons they use the axes far more aggressively and effectively.

Anyway, I realise that you've suspended work on the RCM for the fantasy themed mod and that the RCM for Native was only really intended as a test mod, so this isn't so much a recommendation for RCM so much as just a sharing of what I felt was a nice gameplay feature that you might like to try out and consider for future projects. Although with your permission I had been considering financially balancing the items in RCM and releasing it as a Native compatible mod, as well as a version that tweaks troop equipment for balance.

At any rate I'm mostly just posting here to say thank you for developing something which has given me hours of enjoyment over the last two or three years and vastly improved my enjoyment of the game.

Thanks,
Moss.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on June 03, 2009, 08:11:00 AM
Glad you enjoy it.  To your points:

You can parry almost any edged weapon with a short, heavy stick (i.e. axe handle, club, whatever).  Wood is very good about absorbing impact, and unless it is fastened to the ground solidly (i.e. a tree), is very hard to split.  It is an old trick to use a wood sword, club or baton against a live blade, just because it is quite easy to get the real blade to stick slightly into the wood and so require considerable effort to free it, thereby effectively neutralizing the blade much more efficiently than blocking metal to metal.

Weapons that really can't be used for parrying include daggers, brass knuckles, kitchen knives, scalpels, and the like.  I make sure to disable blocking for them ... if I missed one of those, do point it out.

Against armor, axes and maces ARE very good at making things dead.  And you don't fight with an axe the way you cut wood with one - such a clumsy and over-extended swing in combat would get you killed in two seconds.  Split some water bottles with a hatchet, the same way you would with a short sword, to get a feel for what I mean.  After a little practice, you'll tend to kind of throw it forward and then slash, rather than making a continuous arc like chopping firewood.

Blocking with an axe handle (or certain mace designs, etc.) also has the added advantage that you can use the blade as a hook, to help control the tip of the enemy weapon.  While it would be unlikely to actually take a weapon away in this manner, it is very good for controlling the blade long enough to turn it away from your body.  This is an advantage that swords do not have - the possibility of sliding off the tip of a sword and still clipping the target is real.

As for reach, some of the models in Native are a little bizarre.  For best results, stick with RCM mods where I had some (or all) control over the models.  (Pretty much all of the weapons models in OnR for .90x were mine, or that fantasy project ... good clean weapons with it.)

The blunt thrust attack with an axe is highly inadvisable ... it would likely either result in dropping the weapon, dislocating some joint on your body, or at very least being badly off-balanced.  While possible, that one probably goes in the category with clubbing your enemy with the sword scabbard ... possible, maybe, but not worth modeling in the game.  (This not to include actual pole-axes, which were balanced for such ... but they had spear points as well.)  If you really think it should be in there, thrust with axe head should probably fall under special functions, beside shield bash, head butt, and knee to groin... that's about the real effective range of such a move.

You have covered a number of the modern myths concerning how weapons are or can be used.  First is the assumption that you fight with an axe the same way you chop wood ... which, if you think about it, would be like saying you fight with a knife the same way you chop onions.  Second is the assumption that metal beats wood (rock crushes scissors) ... which while true under a hydraulic press, isn't going to happen in the middle of a knife fight.  Third the belief that axes were less common ... simply not true.  From the Vikings through the pole-axes of the French heavy cav and the Teutonic knights, you will find from old illustrations and written accounts that hand axes, picks and hammers, two-handed axes and pole-axes and hammers were among the most common weapons seen.  Two-handed axes were considered the most basic of weapons for centuries.  They were second only to variations on the spear ... and even then, pole-axes and halberds (and billhooks and whatever like them) often blurred the line there as well.  If anything, it was the sword that was less common and more likely to be ceremonial than a combat weapon in Europe and the Middle East.  (In Asia, the spear and the bow were king, but many of the "spear" type weapons were effectively pole-axes by weight and balance, even if they looked like something else entirely.)  Fourth was the belief that axes were somehow less deadly than other types of weapon ... I promise that they are not.  Their ability to tear armor to bits is really quite astounding - you really need to see it to truly understand.  And while the odd balance makes them a little slower to use, the incredible damage to armor seems to more than make up for it.

So while I understand where you're coming from, I'm going to have to suggest that you check this out before building the "urban myth combat model".  Because I think that's what you have there ... a collection of urban myths about combat, ancient or modern, of the type collected by people who have either never seen anyone bleed before, or who have never seriously considered how a particular weapon was/is/can be used.  Not saying it wouldn't make for a better balanced game ... after all, you're talking about the Native retrofit, where nothing among the troops file is balanced in the first place.  But I'm going to have to say that you have drifted away from "realistic" and into the "Hollywood" category.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Moss on June 03, 2009, 08:35:57 PM
Thanks for the reply.

I'm under no illusion that a wood axe is a weapon, or for that matter that you'd use a fighting axe in any way shape or form similar to chopping wood. That is, unless you asked your opponent to stand very, very still whilst you did it. :P

As for the power of an axe, that I am quite definitely under no illusions about, I'd be fairly confident a pair of steel-caps could turn aside a machete, against an axe of any kind I'd be fairly confident of losing toes, if not most of my foot. I definitely wouldn't argue that they weren't effective weapons, hell even as a tool they're about the most dangerous things you can legally have lying around a house, and as for their effectiveness against armour, I consider the fact that a single axe blow has about the same effect on a tree as twenty or so good whacks with a machete as a good indicator that they'd be damn effective.

From depictions, reenactments and common sense, I kind of surmised that axes would be held in a fairly broad grip, with the upper hand far close to the head than you'd see on a wood axe, allowing you greater control with lighter, shorter swings (unlike in M&B where they're handled almost exactly like wood axes, due to using the two handed sword animations). The general feel I got was that when using a two handed axe you'd try to keep your opponent at arms length, as I'd guess the natural thing to do when faced with someone who has greater reach than you would be to try to get in close, keep their weapon down, up or to the side, and to take advantage of the fact that in close quarters a hand axe, or any other shorter weapon, will still be able to swing effectively. I didn't intend the axe thrust as an actual attack, and as far as gameplay goes it doesn't work like that, it's actually quite useless for harming someone, it's designed more as a "shove back" measure, using the weapons length and weight to push your opponent back a bit to give you a clear swing, and without some decent footwork to go with it it's largely useless. Essentially just a feint or a jab. Clearly a thrust animation isn't the best way to represent this (although using the polearm thrust it's passable), but the current method of using an axe, exactly identical to the sword, seems even less realistic.

As for the blocking, I'm more than ready to admit my lack of any first hand experience with most weapons, axes in particular. From what I've seen your description of how an axe would be used to trap and move an opponents weapon is perfectly accurate, and it's more than a pity that actual weapon use is rather impossible to simulate using a 2d pointing device and some buttons. I can't help but be dubious about the effectiveness of an axe haft as a blocking weapon though. Anyone with a lick of common sense would realise that a hard wood pole isn't going to shatter, even from a heavy blow of an edged weapon, and of course anyone who's ever cut wood would realise that unless that shaft was held rather firmly in one spot the blade simply won't sink to any great degree. Cutting down a tree with an axe is easy, but trying to chop up a thick branch on the ground with a wood axe is a good way to make yourself look like an idiot.

I'm not saying that using the axe haft to block wouldn't work, infact I'm quite sure it would, getting a blade trapped in wood is a pain in the ass using a tool and would be a very bad situation in a fight. But the problem with that would seem to be is that with the type of blocking depicted in M&B (i.e. shoving the weapon out and holding it firmly in place) you'd at the very least lose chips from the blow, and if your opponent managed to hit the shaft at a relatively sharp angle you run the risk of the blade slicing into the grain, which would severely weaken the strength of the shaft (as you know, chopping wood along the grain is far, far easier than chopping from the side), possibly causing it to split a little. The fact that you'd probably be trying to catch blows near the blade of the weapon would worsen the situation, seeing as that's where most of the pressure from any blow you made with the axe would be acting on the shaft, just under the axe head. Quite clearly it's unrealistic to expect any weapon to cause any serious damage to the haft (although a thick bladed weapon like a falchion would probably be more effective) and in a one on one fight the slight damage done to your axe using it in that fashion wouldn't be a concern, but in the prolonged, multiple opponent, engagements depicted in M&B I'd think it's relatively likely that a single axe would not last you the entire fight. That being said, until I actually have any first hand experience I'll take my own words with a few grains of salt.

When it comes down to it the intention was less to make blocking impossible and more to force the use of the axe in a fashion more befitting a hafted weapon. The approach has more than a few flaws, but gameplay wise I feel it works pretty well. In a game like M&B a very, very, loose approximation of realistic combat is really the best you can do, in a more perfect system the "speed" of a weapon wouldn't control the speed of it's strike (as a heavy, cumbersome hammer or axe will swing just as quickly, if not quicker, than a sword), but more the difficulty experience in stopping the momentum of the weapon and turning it.

As for the myth about swords, I'm aware there's a reason why they were only really popular in time periods where armour wasn't. ;) I'm surprised to hear that two handed axes were popular though, I knew that one handed axes and longer poleaxe like weapons we're commonly used, but for the most part I'd thought that large two handed weapons lost their popularity once militaries became organised, using cohesive formations and didn't really regain their popularity till pike and shot formations became the status quo, along with mass produced plated armour, making shields redundant.

So, yeah, my approach has more than a few flaws and although I wouldn't say it's a more realistic depiction (by any stretch of the imagination), I think it works in it's own way to create a system that highlights the methods I'd imagine would be most important using any longer two handed weapon, an emphasis on using reach and footwork over speed and close quarters effectiveness. It's a very crude work around for the game's limitations, and although I'd love to be able to set more realistic weapon animations and actually have things like momentum and weight as a factor (blocking a club or another sword with a short sword is one thing, attempting to block a bardiche or two-handed sword is quite another), that'll have to wait till (hopefully), M&B 2.

I didn't exactly intend the axe tweaks as a serious addition for RCM, although I like it I imagine disabling something which you should be able to do with a weapon wouldn't exactly be a popular move, but I thought you might like to try it out simply as an interesting attempt to get around both a balance issue and the issue to how M&B approaches hafted weapons (i.e. as large, slow, swords).

Anyway, thanks again and thank you for the detailed reply as well. I've got to say it's always refreshing to see something about historical weapons on the internet that's actually educated, well thought out and intelligent rather than the usual bizarre beliefs that "Katana's could cut other swords in half", "Samurai armour was made from bamboo", "Large swords and axes could cut someone in half and hit the person standing next to them" or "Plate armour was so heavy Knights had to be lifted onto their horses with cranes". :lol:
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on June 03, 2009, 11:50:56 PM
I should point out that large swords (and even some medium-sized ones) very well could cut a person in half and hit the person next to them.  Japanese sword testing, in fact, frequently stacked bodies as many as seven deep ... and often as not, went through a fair number of them (sometimes all of them) on the first swing.  Those tests are documented, carved into the tang of the weapon to indicate how the blade was tested and how the test was authenticated.  Judging from the damage on skeletons in European and Middle Eastern digs, it certainly appears that Japan certainly did not have a monopoly on blades that would inflict that type of damage.  Although troops would have to be standing in pretty tight ranks for someone to actually hit two of the enemy in combat ... a more likely case study would be friendly fire, a blade passing through an enemy's body part and then hitting one of your guys beside you.

Two-handed axes dominated warfare in England and surrounding area for centuries ... every illustration from the Bayeux Tapestry through the Scottish revolution shows infantry primarily armed either with large axes or spears.  By the 1400's or so, the Dane axe design was losing popularity to the pole-axe type weapons, as they were better balanced for spear point attacks and use from horse ... but they were still basically axes, despite the design evolving a bit.  That was also the time frame where more pick and hammer type blades appeared, but people of the time didn't really see that as a huge distinction - the Middle English term "pollax" was used to refer to various things, ranging from two-handed Dane axes to halberds to the French "bec-de-corbin", and even to billhooks.

Weaponized axes tended to have heavier and/or reinforced handles.  Metal bands or leather wrappings were the most common reinforcing materials in Europe, although laminated bamboo layers over hardwood were all the rage in Asia.  These modifications were specifically to prevent the handle splintering after it had been used to block a blade or two, and they generally worked.  All of the old German "fightbooks" (combat training manuals from the 1300's to 1600's) call for extensive use of axe and poleaxe handles for blocking.  Accounts of the weapons breaking in combat, however, are quite rare (unless someone hit a tree from a charging horse or the like) and usually happened on the attack.

Here is some good material on the use of pole-axes:

http://www.thearma.org/spotlight/lejeudelahache.htm

They were generally used with a slightly wider grip than the Dane axe, but the thing to note from the illustrations is how narrow the grip was.  The weapon is certainly more axe than spear.  The modern re-enactment procedures are probably not the cleanest source, since they do have safety concerns and are not really fighting for their lives.

Do note, however, that after building and using pole-axes myself (using mostly Japanese naginata technique), I must disagree with the ARMA's notes on that page, where they suggested the pole-axe to be a rather clumsy and showy weapon.  I found them to be both utterly lethal and stunningly precise, and considering the length, not as difficult to control as one might first suspect.

Another good experiment is to use a wood axe exactly the way you would handle a sword ... while I don't really advise it as a combat tactic, you can learn a lot in a hurry.  You can slash and draw-cut with an axe blade if you have to, even from a single-hand grip at the far end of the handle.  From a two-hand sword-type grip, they're almost as mobile as a katana in close quarters, and you can generate a tremendous hacking swing with very little warning (not a shorter, light attack at all).  While a wood axe tends to be rather narrow on the blade compared to weaponized versions, the test will still put down some of the myths.  (I am continually surprised at how well balanced tool axes are for combat ... some can be quite impressive.)


And unrelated:  I know of only one suit of Japanese armor that was primarily lacquered bamboo, and it was Edo period and probably ceremonial (and a few that mixed some bamboo in with other materials) ... but lacquer-hardened bamboo was used extensively  in many other parts of Asia, and generally fared about as well as hardened leather.  It would actually be relatively easy for most people to confuse the Chinese versions of such with Japanese armor, especially if it did not have any really distinguishing markings (i.e. without the characteristic Japanese helmet).  So that myth was not completely groundless, just severely taken out of context.

And occasionally some king would have to be helped onto his horse with a rope and pulley, but it was usually because he was fat, old, and/or crippled ... although the weight of his armor probably didn't help.  Late period jousting armor was pretty heavy and pretty restrictive to movement, but it was sporting equipment intended to prevent injury in a game with rules ... nobody would be crazy enough to go to war like that.  The "knights couldn't move" myth came from the latter point (i.e. assuming they tried to actually fight in that sports gear), with the former adding the "needed a hoist" detail.  Amazing what kind of nonsense can be reconstructed by taking a few obscure details or out-of-context information and stringing it together in a sequence that looks almost logical.

You tend to get cleaner answers about history when talking to actual historians... I teach university level culture studies, so I have a professional interest in both accurate history and in current urban myths.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Moss on June 04, 2009, 02:59:47 AM
I've got to say I'm really surprised about the popularity of axes, I hadn't realised just how wide spread their use was, although now that I think about it I can't imagine why they wouldn't be, especially with the dominance of shields in historical European combat.

I'm a little embarrassed about the braces on axe hafts though, I've seen them enough times that it should have occurred to me that they weren't just there to reinforce the axe head but also the haft.

I am really, really surprised about the swords though. From the information I could find apparently the test cuts were done through several parts of the body ending finally with a blow through the spinal column, although I imagine it would be considerably harder to achieve the same effect on a standing man. At any rate, the myth as I've heard it repeated is not so much that the blow could go through multiple men but that the blow could reliably go through multiple armored men, which seems slightly less plausible. ;)

As for the "Knight Crane" myth, some sources seem to point the finger at the 1908 film "When Knights Were Bold" but I've heard it attributed to an early twentieth century book of short stories as well.

Thanks for responding in such detail to my posts, it's really nice to be put straight by a good source, especially considering the fact that it can be quite hard to filter fact from fiction on topics like these. :)
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Jon Snow on June 28, 2009, 04:06:13 PM
 Hi Ron, I was just wondering why you've set the speed for two-handed swords in all the RCM modules at either 65 or 78? I'm 5'6", weedy, unfit, cultivating a not insignificant beer-belly, and even I can comfortably swing a ~5lb two-handed re-enactment blunt with a point of balance ~8-9" from the guard in quick succession much faster than that. :) That's weight- and balance- wise about right for a true (although fairly light) two-hander. That's way over-weight for one of the earlier-period (13th C. onward) dedicated two-handers, they're sitting more around the 3-3.5lb level with a PoB at around 4-5". I'm by no means in the sort of shape that the men who'd have used such a weapon would be, but personally, in game terms I'd estimate the erm...wieldiness of that blunt at about an 87. For reference, the Arms & Armor 15th C. two-hander that the game's new great-sword model is based from is about 6lbs (http://www.armor.com/sword156.html (http://www.armor.com/sword156.html)), and I'd bet the point of balance is closer to the guard than the cheap blunt I own.
 Just wondering, I know that the western side of things isn't exactly your major area of interest, and I'm aware that this is possibly a decision to try and balance lethality to realistic levels, but the slow-motion two-handers are a bit bizarre, even so.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on June 28, 2009, 09:05:02 PM
Several issues here.  The most obvious that the Native weapons do not specifically reflect any one historical model.  Weight, blade thickness, and length all varied greatly over time.  Therefore, all kinds of random assumptions have to be made.  I can be much more precise if I am given an exact year and weapon design.  The Native weapons tend to be too large anyway, so rather than re-sizing them, I made some assumptions as to their weight ... not unreasonable, but such that your weapon of comparison would probably fall more in the hand-and-a-half category.

Two, the skill, strength, and agility of the character factors into it.  If you have been practicing with reenactment weapons, you should be comparing your personal speed to game characters of somewhat higher stats.  Anything above speed 60 moves pretty quick in the hands of higher-level characters.  That's just the way M&B was written ... I have to work within their framework.

Three, actually time yourself with the real weapons.  I did.  If you watch the tip of the weapon at the point of highest velocity, it's amazing.  But if you time the number of swings you can make in a minute, you suddenly realize how slow some of those weapons really are.  The naginata, for example - speed on the tip of the blade is like a running lawnmower, but when you include the time it takes to accelerate the weapon and then to regain control of it, that cuts into the "speed" pretty significantly.  People tend to seriously mis-estimate the speed of a weapon in their own hands, due to their own perceptions.  Same problem as how hard a hit was delivered - most base it off of how much energy was transferred back into them, rather than how much hit the target.  But a stopwatch won't lie.

So yeah, I had to make some compromises, due to limitations of the game, fuzzy data, and such.  But I advise against raising the numbers there, or else higher level characters will be using greatswords faster than rapiers, and you get back into the screwed up Native model where bigger weapons were always better because they all moved at roughly the same speed.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Jon Snow on June 29, 2009, 10:13:59 AM
Two, the skill, strength, and agility of the character factors into it.  If you have been practicing with reenactment weapons, you should be comparing your personal speed to game characters of somewhat higher stats.  Anything above speed 60 moves pretty quick in the hands of higher-level characters.  That's just the way M&B was written ... I have to work within their framework.
Well, consider me the ideal comparison for a level 1 character, then. :) I haven't seriously been practising with anything.

So yeah, I had to make some compromises, due to limitations of the game, fuzzy data, and such.  But I advise against raising the numbers there, or else higher level characters will be using greatswords faster than rapiers, and you get back into the screwed up Native model where bigger weapons were always better because they all moved at roughly the same speed.
It's unfortunate, isn't it, that weapon speed simply changes the speed all of the swing animations are played at? Be much better if weapon speed changed the speed that the recovery half of the swing animation played at, and affected the actual swing speed only slightly by comparison. I think the major problem, in the sense of "they all move at roughly the same speed", is that one-handed and two-handed speeds are not directly comparable in terms of the numbers.

Three, actually time yourself with the real weapons.  I did.  If you watch the tip of the weapon at the point of highest velocity, it's amazing.  But if you time the number of swings you can make in a minute, you suddenly realize how slow some of those weapons really are.  The naginata, for example - speed on the tip of the blade is like a running lawnmower, but when you include the time it takes to accelerate the weapon and then to regain control of it, that cuts into the "speed" pretty significantly.  People tend to seriously mis-estimate the speed of a weapon in their own hands, due to their own perceptions.  Same problem as how hard a hit was delivered - most base it off of how much energy was transferred back into them, rather than how much hit the target.  But a stopwatch won't lie.
I think you're underestimating the speed and control you can achieve using a levering motion on a long two-handed grip, with that blunt it's like...erm...well, almost 80bpm, if that makes sense (http://www.metronomeonline.com/ (http://www.metronomeonline.com/)). Not to mention the fact that my mind thinks in terms of rhythm a lot of the time, a relic of playing guitar. ;) About the same as a character with 250 weapon skill swinging a two-handed weapon at speed 88. Not the most helpful comparison, I'll admit.

There's another thing, as well, that's just crossed my mind. I'm not going to suggest it as an amendment for RCM yet, I want to investigate it myself a bit more, but it strikes me that viking-hilted swords should perhaps be a bit slower than swords with later hilts purely due to their hilt style. When you swing a sword with a viking-style hilt, you can't comfortably hold it in a hammer grip because when it comes to recovering at the end of the swing the hilt furniture essentially smacks you in the wrist. You generally have to hold them in more of a handshake-grip, and this is a slightly less effective approach at efficiently recovering the swing. Something to think about, anyway.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on June 29, 2009, 09:56:02 PM
How the heck were you holding a sword, anyway?  Best control on any weapon (or tool) is to lay the weapon along the line of your thumb.  (That would be the "handshake grip" you were talking about, I suppose.)  That's the way you hold a hammer, if you actually intend to hit the nails (or whatever you're pounding on) ... what is commonly called a "hammer grip" is useless on an actual hammer.  It will also break your wrist if you swing a sword that way, and greatly increases the chances that the weapon will bounce back and hit you.

All of the European crossguards after the round guard on the Roman gladius were all pretty much the same - they cross the blade at a 90, and extend far enough to prevent you breaking fingers if you slam the weapon into a shield.  Some extended further, for reasons of style.  Honestly, round guards like the gladius, or like Japanese swords, tend to be the least likely to get into your way ... beyond that, I can't really tell much difference.  The Norse swords had a long enough grip to allow plenty of room for the hand without getting your wrist into the guard ... at least the ones I've seen in museums all seemed to.

And while I will admit that the speed and control on a weapon is greater than often portrayed, it is not infinite.  My draw and cut with a katana is about 0.6 seconds, and about 0.3 for each cut following that.  (The long hilt on Japanese weapons roughly corresponding to your comment on leverage, although the weapon is a bit lighter.)  That sounds fast to just say it quickly, but in reality, it looks like I could probably knock a tenth off of that if I would work at it.  Time yourself ... you'll be surprised.

And I did take into account that one and two-hand weapons do not correspond.  The complaint was about weapons of similar design but vastly different size and weight being rated as almost identical.  If you really want to see what really light two-hand weapons look like in RCM, check out the katana in OnR - a 3 pound blade on a long two-hand hilt.  Those speeds are truly stunning.  But when you compare that to a 5-foot blade, the dynamics change a great deal.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Jon Snow on June 30, 2009, 11:10:06 AM
How the heck were you holding a sword, anyway?  Best control on any weapon (or tool) is to lay the weapon along the line of your thumb.  (That would be the "handshake grip" you were talking about, I suppose.)  That's the way you hold a hammer, if you actually intend to hit the nails (or whatever you're pounding on) ... what is commonly called a "hammer grip" is useless on an actual hammer.  It will also break your wrist if you swing a sword that way, and greatly increases the chances that the weapon will bounce back and hit you.
Oh, come on, Ron, I can't see how your assertions there are true. I'm perfectly capable of hitting nails with a hammer using either grip, and I can't see how anyone else could find either style uncomfortable or ineffective. Indeed, the standard hammer grip is undeniably the most comfortable since it makes use of the most relaxed position in terms of musculature, which only aids control, in any case. Hold your hand out in front of you so that your thumb is on top and let it relax and you get a hammer grip.
 I've never come close to breaking my wrist swinging a sword in this manner. In fact, the closest I've come to breaking my wrist was with my wrist bent far beyond its usual range of movement after being tackled playing rugby. Wrists are pretty resilient like that, and actually have a fairly broad range of movement. I can see how such a grip reduces the chance of breaking your wrist since it's the whole arm that rotates rather than the wrist alone, but I'm not for a second going to believe that the forces involved in swinging a sword at a pell or indeed any target short of a man wearing a plate harness (a target which you couldn't hope to injure with a sword-swing, anyway) are enough to break the wrist.
 Also, I can't see how holding a single-hand sword in this manner would increase the chance of a sword bouncing back at you, at all, given that a strike using this grip allows the muscles of the arm to act along the same axis of movement as the wrist to prevent such an event. What kind of inappropriate target would produce such a bounce-back, anyway?
 I can understand how the thumb-on-top grip is useful using a katana or indeed a western longsword, since you have the off-hand to help in controlling the weapon at the end of the swing, so the force that you can apply in opposition to the swing with your sword-hand is not so important. However, the way that the grips of western swords are designed just makes such a grip completely uncomfortable.
 Anyway, that's not the point, I think you must have misunderstood me here, Ron. You couldn't lay a viking-hilted sword along the line of your thumb if you tried - the grip's too short to do so. The handshake grip you are forced to adopt on such a sword is much more unnatural in feel than that. Essentially, the easiest way to describe it is to take the weapon in a hammer grip pointing upwards and rotate the sword outward relative to the body around the blade's axis about 45 degrees, so that when you swing, the pommel swings past your wrist instead of into it. Does that make sense? If not, I'll take a photo. Controlling the sword in this grip becomes a lot harder purely because movements of the wrist to control the sword occur at such an angle to the arm that the muscles of the arm can't act in direct opposition to them. As I said before, this isn't a problem with a two-handed grip since the off-hand makes up for this lack, but in a one-handed grip it does become an obstacle to control.

All of the European crossguards after the round guard on the Roman gladius were all pretty much the same - they cross the blade at a 90, and extend far enough to prevent you breaking fingers if you slam the weapon into a shield.  Some extended further, for reasons of style.  Honestly, round guards like the gladius, or like Japanese swords, tend to be the least likely to get into your way ... beyond that, I can't really tell much difference.  The Norse swords had a long enough grip to allow plenty of room for the hand without getting your wrist into the guard ... at least the ones I've seen in museums all seemed to.
In terms of the hilt style, it's not the cross that's the inconvenience in the slightest, I'm talking about the flat lower surface of the pommel perpendicular to the grip:
(http://www.albion-swords.com/images/swords/albion/nextGen/huskarl2.jpg)

And while I will admit that the speed and control on a weapon is greater than often portrayed, it is not infinite.  My draw and cut with a katana is about 0.6 seconds, and about 0.3 for each cut following that.  (The long hilt on Japanese weapons roughly corresponding to your comment on leverage, although the weapon is a bit lighter.)  That sounds fast to just say it quickly, but in reality, it looks like I could probably knock a tenth off of that if I would work at it.  Time yourself ... you'll be surprised.
Oh, I have. My cuts take approximately 0.6-0.7 of a second each with aforementioned overly heavy, not particularly balanced blunt. A speed of 65 is approximately one per second at 250 weapon skill. I imagine it's quite a lot slower at 30-50 weapon skill.

And I did take into account that one and two-hand weapons do not correspond.
Oh, I know, I'm not faulting your interpretation, at all, quite the opposite, I was commenting that I was glad that you hadn't chosen to treat the two-handed weapons as necessarily slower in terms of the speed numbers since the animations differ. In a horribly obtuse, difficult to understand way, the way I usually type. :-[ I blame my dad, he speaks like he's been reading either a dictionary or a thesaurus all day.

The complaint was about weapons of similar design but vastly different size and weight being rated as almost identical. If you really want to see what really light two-hand weapons look like in RCM, check out the katana in OnR - a 3 pound blade on a long two-hand hilt.  Those speeds are truly stunning.  But when you compare that to a 5-foot blade, the dynamics change a great deal.
Aha, and here we reach a minor point of contention. I think that quite the opposite, you have a slight blind spot for Japanese weapons, in the sense that you rate weapons of different design but broadly similar size and weight as being very different in speed to Western weapons. For example, the tachi in Onin no Ran have a speed of 105 and a reach of 108, where in RCM native, you've given the bastard swords a speed/range 88/101 and 86/105 respectively. Looking at the native bastard swords, the closest comparison I can find in terms of extremely accurate replicas of museum weaponry is the Albion Steward, which has a weight of only 2lbs, 14ozs! It's essentially the same weapon in design and size as the Native bastard swords, an early-style (type XIIIa) blade - long, fairly slim, not much profile taper, fairly wide fuller that finishes near the end of the blade, with a plain, straight cross, long grip and wheel pommel. http://www.albion-swords.com/swords/albion/nextgen/sword-medieval-steward-xiiia3.htm (http://www.albion-swords.com/swords/albion/nextgen/sword-medieval-steward-xiiia3.htm) I'd call a just-under 3-pound blade on a two-hand hilt pretty fast. Double-standards, Ron! ;)
 Given that the Arms & Armor two-hander is a good pound heavier than the blunt I have access to, I can understand it being a fair bit slower than the other swords in the game, but I still think 65 is excessive. 75, maybe.
 I'm enjoying the discussion, Ron, pity we live in such incompatible time-zones. :)

EDIT: Something I'd forgotten to comment on before:
The Native weapons tend to be too large anyway, so rather than re-sizing them, I made some assumptions as to their weight ... not unreasonable, but such that your weapon of comparison would probably fall more in the hand-and-a-half category.
Didn't a lot of the Native models receive a resize for version 1.0? I was under the impression that the newer, more realistic models, at least, had been resized to be a lot more reasonable.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Shik on June 30, 2009, 01:13:41 PM
Ron, regarding the "nomad_robe_a" mesh... I saw that you gave it the same armor rating as the "ragged_outfit." (13 armor). I figured that something was probably wrong with this rating, since in the Native version, the nomad robe had 30 armor, and had a weight of 10 kg, and most medium-tier khergit troops had them equipped. So, I decided to take a closer look at the item mesh.

According to the mesh & texture, there appears to be a vest of leather lamellar underneath the first layer of cloth... here's a picture:
(http://i378.photobucket.com/albums/oo223/feidao_2008/untitled2-1.jpg)

So, I looked at the armor rating for the "lamellar_leather" (steppe armor), and I saw that you gave it a rating of 22.

Is this a bug?

@Jon Snow - the speed rating for the item "sword_of_war" seems to be quite accurate... the blade looks extremely thick and heavy.

Yeah, the newer two handed swords, sword_two_handed_a, and sword_two_handed_b are much slimmer and shorter compared to the old meshes. I agree that the speed for those new items should be adjusted slightly, since atm they have the same stats as the old items.

However, I personally believe that the two handed swords are honestly fine as they are. While the speed looks slow on paper, I find they swing quite well.

Other than the two swords with a speed of 65, the 2h/bastard swords are quite fast in general - they have speeds of 78, 86, 88... quite fast actually.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Jon Snow on June 30, 2009, 01:34:33 PM
@Jon Snow - the speed rating for the item "sword_of_war" seems to be quite accurate... the blade looks extremely thick and heavy.
Oh, I agree, I was mainly referring to the newer models. I should have made that more clear. I try to avoid the old ones, they're edging toward fantasy, generally.

Other than the two swords with a speed of 65, the 2h/bastard swords are quite fast in general - they have speeds of 78, 86, 88... quite fast actually.
I'm just a bit puzzled by the double standard - the bastard swords represent swords which are around the same weight as any of the Japanese two-handed swords in Ron's other mods, yet their speeds are twenty points slower?
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on June 30, 2009, 09:12:33 PM
Again, the Native weapons seem to be oddly designed.  Specifically, they seem to be larger and heavier than their historical counterparts.  Rather than fixing the weapon models, I tried to shoot for modeling the specific designs given.  If the blade looked like it should be uncomfortably heavy, that was how I modeled it.  I would certainly admit that the M&B Native designs are not particularly representative of blades across Europe - in reality, the larger swords seem to represent a fairly narrow subset of abnormally heavy late-period anti-armor blades.

Also, a slightly curved blade does significantly improve recovery time.  True of European sabers as well as Japanese designs.  That is not a double standard - merely an observation after timing a fairly large number of strikes.  A European saber or falchion mounted on a two-hand grip would be absurdly fast as well... Japan, and China to a slightly lesser degree, were playing this point as far as they could.  Europe would eventually go to lighter swords as well, on the same logic, until they finally over-did it and got down to the rapier and other such flimsy toys.  A shorter sword, especially slightly curved, on a long hilt for a two-hand grip, will necessarily come out faster ... but it does compromise reach somewhat, which is a real problem from horse.

There were also some length/weight issues there - if you check OnR, you will find that the Tachi is still relatively fast, but as soon as you go to heavier blades (no-dachi), the weapon speed drops suddenly.  This is in keeping with my own observations - there is a sudden break point where a weapon goes from being relatively handy to feeling quite heavy.  Again lacking exact historical models for the Native weapons, I had to estimate from in-game graphics as to which way each one would go.  (Consider that tachi was a two-handed weapon in Japan, but still in the general size and weight range of single-hand long swords in European tradition.)  M&B Native doesn't seem to have any lightweight two-handed weapons ... which is too bad, really.

The listed weights in M&B may or may not be historically accurate.  Some were rated higher than realistic, to represent things that inhibit movement more than their actual weight would suggest.  In the case of the Native numbers, I didn't really even look at them much.  Those should not be considered an accurate representation of anything ... the game engine is using that to mean "relative encumbrance", not "weight".

In the M&B model, weapon skill affects the speed of the weapon much less than the agility.  That number is pretty much a straight multiplier.  So agl of 30 is literally twice as fast as agl 15.  To account for this, the range of speeds has to be increased slightly.  So the effective speed range goes from slower than natural to faster than natural.  If a normal person could get 1.5 swings per second, then the numbers have to range from 1 per second to 2 per second, depending on the agl (and to a lesser extent, the skill, power strike, and other numbers).  It was a tough balancing act, really, and I make no claims that it was done perfectly ... but before changing too many things, definitely consider this problem.  It certainly made me stop and think for a while.

Anyway, the numbers were certainly a set of compromises.  I was trying to work with the game engine I had.  And yes, I did test many of the things recently said ... and yes, I did get the problems I just described, especially in the higher level characters becoming lightning-fast with weapons the size of a boat oar.  So you're welcome to change stuff, but check both ends of the scale before you do ... it can come back to bite you.

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

Shik:

The nomad robe thing was just a Native holdover.  It was low-rated in the original version (back in M&B .808 or so), so that was maintained.  I used the same graphic in other places with much higher numbers, just by assuming that the leather was actually armor (like thick, hardened material), rather than a thin layer of mildly protective clothing.  I was unaware that the newer versions were using them as combat armor for anybody.

And no, I did not compare all the newest sword models to the older ones. 

RCM-Native was more of a demo than a mod in development, and the latest version is still pretty much a hold-over from the previous.  If I was actively developing something out of it, I would be putting in a lot more effort on issues like this.  No promise that there are no bugs.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Jon Snow on July 01, 2009, 02:10:30 AM
Again, the Native weapons seem to be oddly designed.  Specifically, they seem to be larger and heavier than their historical counterparts.  Rather than fixing the weapon models, I tried to shoot for modeling the specific designs given.
Oh, sorry Ron, I must have skimmed over that part of your post. Bad habit, that.

Also, a slightly curved blade does significantly improve recovery time.  True of European sabers as well as Japanese designs.  That is not a double standard - merely an observation after timing a fairly large number of strikes.
That's interesting, any theory as to why this is?

There were also some length/weight issues there - if you check OnR, you will find that the Tachi is still relatively fast, but as soon as you go to heavier blades (no-dachi), the weapon speed drops suddenly.  This is in keeping with my own observations - there is a sudden break point where a weapon goes from being relatively handy to feeling quite heavy.  Again lacking exact historical models for the Native weapons, I had to estimate from in-game graphics as to which way each one would go.  (Consider that tachi was a two-handed weapon in Japan, but still in the general size and weight range of single-hand long swords in European tradition.)  M&B Native doesn't seem to have any lightweight two-handed weapons ... which is too bad, really.
Yeah, I did notice that, actually. I wonder how much that break point varies from person to person? I wonder too many things, it has to be said.
 The newer Native weapons do generally seem to be based upon replicas, but obviously, no one's expecting you to dredge round the internet looking for these inspirations to flesh out a demo project.
 They seem to be locking into the early 13th to late 14th century time period more and more as the version numbers advance, which I guess doesn't leave much room for lightweight two-handers outside of the hand-and-a-half swords. At least they got rid of that massive abomination of a "bastard sword" from the earlier versions, eh?

The listed weights in M&B may or may not be historically accurate.  Some were rated higher than realistic, to represent things that inhibit movement more than their actual weight would suggest.  In the case of the Native numbers, I didn't really even look at them much.  Those should not be considered an accurate representation of anything ... the game engine is using that to mean "relative encumbrance", not "weight".
Oh, I don't look at the game-engine weights a great deal, either. I don't remember the last time I checked the game-weight of something. I'm probably murdering my characters' running speeds, but never mind. I think I painted them out of my mind as irrelevant when I played the game as a heavily-armoured tank too many times when I'd just started playing. :-[

In the M&B model, weapon skill affects the speed of the weapon much less than the agility.  That number is pretty much a straight multiplier.  So agl of 30 is literally twice as fast as agl 15.  To account for this, the range of speeds has to be increased slightly.  So the effective speed range goes from slower than natural to faster than natural.  If a normal person could get 1.5 swings per second, then the numbers have to range from 1 per second to 2 per second, depending on the agl (and to a lesser extent, the skill, power strike, and other numbers).  It was a tough balancing act, really, and I make no claims that it was done perfectly ... but before changing too many things, definitely consider this problem.  It certainly made me stop and think for a while.
Agility! Can't believe I forgot about agility.
I'm thinking about whether I can implement lower ability caps, or even just a lower level cap, myself. Even if it wasn't bizarre to watch, playing a superhuman character doesn't hold the greatest appeal in terms of gameplay. What I always liked about this game is that while you could reach freakish levels of skill, you usually didn't play a single character long enough to do so. Now that the military campaigns and such have been fleshed out, I find myself playing the same characters for longer and longer, and I'm getting quite interested in playing with the skill system to tweak this.

Anyway, the numbers were certainly a set of compromises.  I was trying to work with the game engine I had.  And yes, I did test many of the things recently said ... and yes, I did get the problems I just described, especially in the higher level characters becoming lightning-fast with weapons the size of a boat oar.  So you're welcome to change stuff, but check both ends of the scale before you do ... it can come back to bite you.
Well, I'm glad you did, it's certainly taken away a lot of the real immersion-breaking situations you tended to see in Native. I'll be looking into the mechanics of altering the RPG system to make it more based around human beings, I guess.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on July 01, 2009, 05:46:43 AM
On the curved blades having faster recovery, it isn't really a theory - they just balance further back, and so roll over with less pressure on the wrist.  The strike is no faster on the offensive side, but the setup and recovery are much more controllable.  I've heard a lot of crazy theories about straight or curved blades and why this or that was better, but my wrist can certainly feel the difference.

That break point where weapons start to feel heavy ... it seems to vary a bit with the size of the person, but not really enough to notice immediately.  I suspect it could be formulated as a factor of inertia on the weapon (weight and length from grip point to center of gravity) over body weight of the user (including any gear tied solidly to the body).  When the inertia of the weapon exceeds a particular point, it begins to throw off the user's balance, thereby forcing him to more carefully configure his body positioning to deal with the extra displacement.  This time spent arranging the body and weapon, tensing muscles and preparing to move, and then shifting the body to recover after the move, is what makes the attack slower.  Physical upper body strength seems to be less significant than one might first think - the greater the force applied, the more it throws the user off-balance, thereby offsetting the immediate increase in speed.  Of course, skill and athletic ability increase the total speed with which this can be performed, but the sharp drop in apparent handling ability seems to be more an issue of pure leverage physics than biology.  For reasons of calculation in M&B, I doubt that the individual differences should be large enough to need attention.

And yeah, don't forget agility - that's a huge multiplier in M&B.  Really makes a clean speed estimate tough, with so much variation.  Maybe not un-realistic ... some people do move a good deal slower than others.  But still tough to balance around it.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Jon Snow on July 01, 2009, 09:59:32 AM
On the curved blades having faster recovery, it isn't really a theory - they just balance further back, and so roll over with less pressure on the wrist.  The strike is no faster on the offensive side, but the setup and recovery are much more controllable.  I've heard a lot of crazy theories about straight or curved blades and why this or that was better, but my wrist can certainly feel the difference.
I imagine that that's likely the reason behind the flared shoulders that occasionally at the base of straight blades.

That break point where weapons start to feel heavy ... it seems to vary a bit with the size of the person, but not really enough to notice immediately.  I suspect it could be formulated as a factor of inertia on the weapon (weight and length from grip point to center of gravity) over body weight of the user (including any gear tied solidly to the body).  When the inertia of the weapon exceeds a particular point, it begins to throw off the user's balance, thereby forcing him to more carefully configure his body positioning to deal with the extra displacement.  This time spent arranging the body and weapon, tensing muscles and preparing to move, and then shifting the body to recover after the move, is what makes the attack slower.  Physical upper body strength seems to be less significant than one might first think - the greater the force applied, the more it throws the user off-balance, thereby offsetting the immediate increase in speed.  Of course, skill and athletic ability increase the total speed with which this can be performed, but the sharp drop in apparent handling ability seems to be more an issue of pure leverage physics than biology.  For reasons of calculation in M&B, I doubt that the individual differences should be large enough to need attention.
That makes a lot of sense. Push someone hard enough and they'll fall over...same principle, of course. Strikes me that the height of the person's centre of gravity relative to their overall height would be important. But yeah, not particularly appropriate for simulation in M&B.

And yeah, don't forget agility - that's a huge multiplier in M&B.  Really makes a clean speed estimate tough, with so much variation.  Maybe not un-realistic ... some people do move a good deal slower than others.  But still tough to balance around it.
It still seems that the upper end of the scale for weapon speed in M&B is a bit crazy. And athletics, as well. I think there needs to be a diminishing return function rather than just a multiplier for increasing levels of agility. It's not as bad as .890, when a high-athletics character could outrun a horse! Although that view might just be because I haven't seen any "look at me, I can solo against 200 people by running backwards faster than they can run forwards" videos recently.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Shik on July 01, 2009, 06:23:06 PM
Ron, what would you suggest as appropriate stat/skill/proficiency levels for different types and levels of troops? At the moment, the native troops are horrendously unbalanced, and I'd like some input to help correct some of these values.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on July 02, 2009, 12:00:42 AM
Ron, what would you suggest as appropriate stat/skill/proficiency levels for different types and levels of troops? At the moment, the native troops are horrendously unbalanced, and I'd like some input to help correct some of these values.

Can you be a little more specific?
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Shik on July 02, 2009, 07:07:20 PM
I'd mostly like to know what values of proficiency, attributes, and skills would equate to what you consider as an experienced soldier. I'd also like to know how big of a difference in skill there is between a raw conscript and a seasoned veteran...

On a tangent note, one thing that's been bugging me is how easily heavily armored troops cleave straight through numerically superior forces of light cavalry/infantry. All weapons that aren't two handed or piercing seem to do absolutely no damage against them - especially spears. (it's no surprise, with the 35% reduction and all...). I recently actually ended up soloing 35 light infantry on foot with a two handed sword and maille armor...

I suppose the only way to correct this is to give light infantry some heavy weapons.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on July 02, 2009, 08:53:49 PM
Wait ... the 35% reduction?  Are you using the RCM module.ini file?

Anyway, heavy armor should produce a very substantial advantage.  Sawing on a coat of maille with a pocketknife is just not going to give much in the line of results.  If it didn't, nobody would have used the stuff.

As for skills and attributes, it just depends on the soldiers.  I mean, realistically, I have known real combat veterans (WW2, Vietnam, several more recent Middle East conflicts) who were hard as a coffin nail, and I've known some who, in spite of going through terrible fights, were still more in the marshmallow category.  So "veteran soldier" didn't tell me much.  I mean, what does a "veteran street cop" look like?  SWAT team dude with hundreds of kills to his name, or overweight middle-aged guy who writes traffic tickets?  Well, technically, both qualify ... and while the overweight guy might surprise you with his capabilities (there is a chance he's been shot at before), the stat comparison would be comical.  Even within the same army unit, there will always be one guy who runs slow, and one guy who never misses what he shoots at, and so on.... Which one is a "veteran soldier"?  They all enlisted at the same time, and they have all been in the same theaters of operation.

Generally, the RCM numbers were based around pretty average Native M&B scores.  If you work within what seems reasonable for M&B stats, things should work out well enough for testing - and then if you notice a balance issue, correct it then.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Shik on July 03, 2009, 09:55:21 AM
Ah, I suppose that makes sense.

Yeah, I'm using the RCM module.ini - the 35% reduction was about the speed and damage reduction that is given when you use a polearm or bastard sword with one hand.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Shik on July 15, 2009, 02:49:59 PM
Update:
http://www.mbrepository.com/modules/PDdownloads/singlefile.php?cid=6&lid=1212 (http://www.mbrepository.com/modules/PDdownloads/singlefile.php?cid=6&lid=1212)

Weapon lengths now all match the weapon meshes.

I guess the only thing left to do is to rebalance the prices.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on July 16, 2009, 05:42:22 AM
Thanks, man ... all the stuff that I was never going to get around to doing, you seem to be cleaning it up nicely.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: mfhberg on July 16, 2009, 09:29:56 AM
Prices for various armors/weapons, along with an inflation chart. I tried to only get prices before the opening of the Americas to avoid the influx of wealth.
                                  ARMOR

Item                                     Price       Date        Source  Page         end price
Mail                                      100s        12 cen(??   [7]     30      1200 d
Ready-made Milanese armor      L8 6s 8d    1441        [4]     112      2000 d
Squire's armor                  L5-L6 16s 8d       "             "       "       1200-1400 d    
Bascinet                               13s 4d +    1369           "      88      160 d total 200 d
                                          3s 4d to line it                         40 d
                  
Armor in a merchant's house      5s          1285-1290   [3]     206      60 d   -----##### Have no idea what kind.
Total Armor owned by a knight   L16 6s 8d   1374         "      76      3920 d
Armor in house of Thomas of
  Woodstock, duke of Gloucester L103         1397         "      77      24720 d

Barrel for cleaning mail                9d          1467        [5]     79       9d

    Note: mail is chain mail; almost all the rest is plate-armor. The armor of the knight in 1374 was probably mail with some plates; same for Gloucester's. Mail was extremely susceptible to rust, and was cleaned by rolling it in sand and vinegar in a barrel. Pauldrons are shoulder plates; morions are open helms, burgonets and bascinets closed helms; and a target refers to any of a number different kind of shields. Armor of proof is tested during the making with blows or shots from the strongest weapons of the time; if a weapon is listed, the armor does not claim to be proof against everything, only that it is proof up to that weapon's strength (eg pistol proof is not musket proof, but may be sword proof). All plate armor was lined with cloth, to pad the wearer, quiet the armor, and reduce wear between the pieces. This, along with the necessary straps, was a significant amount of the expense. An armorer asking for money to set up shop in 1624 estimated production costs and profit for a number of different types of armor: I give two examples below ([5], pp. 189-190).

1624    ---- ##### note this is after the influx of wealth from the Americas, I don't have the inflation/deflation rates for these.
Cuirass of proof with pauldrons:
  plates:                              5s 6d      66 d
  finishing, rivets, and straps:  7s 6d      90 d
  selling price                        26s         312 d
Lance armor:
  plates                              14s 5d      173 d
  finishing, et cetera              40s         480 d
  selling price                        80s         960 d

                                 WEAPONS

Item                            Price       Date        Source  Page
Cheap sword (peasant's)    6d          1340s       [3]     174         6 d
Little sword, silver hilt        2L           1368            480 d
                                    23 s      1663                           276 d                #####
                                    12 s         1669             144 d                ####

Pike cost 8s   diary of Philip Henry 1631              96 d               #####
sword cost 3s   diary of Philip Henry 1696              36 d               #####
Earl of Essex sword          500L         1620                                120,000 d        #####
                  workmanship 100L                                           24,000 d
                    total          600L                                         144,000 d
                                  TOOLS

Item                            Price       Date        Source  Page
2 yokes                         4s          c1350       [3]     170      48 d
Foot iron of plough             5d            "          "       "      5 d
3 mason's tools (not named)     9d            "          "       "      9 d
1 spade and shovel              3d          1457         "       "      3 d
1 axe                           5d            "          "       "      5 d
1 augur                         3d            "          "       "      3 d
1 vise                          13s 4d      1514        [5]     27-28      160 d
Large biciron                   60s           "          "        "      720 d
Small biciron                   16s           "          "        "      196 d
Anvil                           20s           "          "        "      240 d
Bellows                         30s           "          "        "      360 d
Hammers                         8d-2s 8d      "          "        "      8 d - 32 d
2 chisels                       8d            "          "        "      8 d
Compete set of armorer's tools  L13 16s 11d   "          "        "      3323 d
Spinning Wheel                  10 d         1457       [3]     170      10 d


                                  HORSES

Item                            Price       Date        Source  Page
War Horse                       up to 50s   12 cen  (?) [7]     30   --- 600 d
War Horse                       up to L80   13 cen      [3]     72      --- 19,200 d -
High-grade riding horse        L10         13th cen     "      72   --- 2400 d
Draught horse                  10s-20s     13th cen     "       "      --- 120 - 240 d
Knight's 2 horses                L10           1374         "      76      --- 2400 d

These prices show that the prices of horses in the game look okay, if a bit low.


    Note: To get a VERY ROUGH sense of money, I reproduce the following chart from Dyer ([3], p. 206).  These are averages of daily wages in pence.

Inflation chart for wages and prices.
Decade        Thatcher       Thatcher's mate
1261-70        2                 -
1271-80        2.5              1
1281-90        2.25             1
1291-1300     2.5              1
1301-10        2.5               1
1311-20        3                 1.25
1321-30        3                 1
1331-40        3                 1.25
1341-50        3                 1.25
1351-60        3.5              2
1361-70        3.5              2
1371-80        4.25            2.5
1381-90        4                2.25
1391-1400     4.25            2.75
1401-10        4.5              3
1411-20        4.75            3
1421-30        4.5              3
1431-40        4.5              3.25
1441-50        5.25            4
1451-60        5.5             3.25
1461-70        4.75            3.75
1471-80        5.25            3.75
1481-90        6                3.75
1491-1500     5.5               3.5
1501-10        5.75              4
1511-20        5.25              4


1 liber (solidus) = 20 shillings = 240 dinarii
1 shilling = 12 dinarii (pennies)

There were expressions of value common to all Europe-- e.g., the liber or pound, which equalled 20 solidi, or shillings, which equalled 240 denarii, or pennies; and a marc which equalled two-thirds of a liber, or 160 denarii. The coin in most general use was the denarius, or penny. This was usually made of silver, but might be made of an alloy, or sometimes of copper alone. A large and a small denarius were known, the latter often called an obol. The intrinsic value of the coin varied somewhat according to the particular mint at which it was coined, weight constituting, on the whole, the safest method od determining value. Raymond mentions seven different denarii from a limited region of the West as current in the army. it is usually safe to assume when western coins are mentioned that denarii are meant. Solidi, liberi, and marci are moneys of account, convenient in expressing large sums of denarii. The ordinary silver denarius weighed from 20 to 24 gr. as compared with the American dime which weighs 38.5 gr. In the East the Crusaders met with gold coins, the besant and perperus of Constantinople, and the gold besant of the Saracens. The besant of Constantinople weighed about 65 gr. as compared with the American gold coinage , which weighs about 25 gr. per dollar. The perperus, called also purpuratus, yperperus, yperperon, and perpre, is less well known. Its value, as stated by the author of the Gesta, was equal to 15 solidi, or 180 denarii. The gold besant of the Saracens, a Latin term for the Arabian dinar, was about equal in weight and instrinsic value to the besant of Constantinople. In seeking the modern equivalants of these coins, it is necessary to bear in mind the relative value of gold and silver in the middle ages. Another coin encountered in the East was the tartaron, which appears to have been a cheap copper coin of somewhat varying value.

    Sources

    [1] English Wayfaring Life in the XIVth Century, J. J. Jusserand, trans Lucy Smith, Putnam's Sons, New York,1931 (Orig. 1889).

    [2] London in the Age of Chaucer, A. R. Myers, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 1972

    [3] Standards of Living in the Later Middle Ages, Christopher Dyer, Cambridge University Press, 1989

    [4] English Weapons & Warfare, 449-1660, A. V. B. Norman and Don Pottinger, Barnes & Noble, 1992 (orig. 1966)

    [5] The Armourer and his Craft from the XIth to the XVIth Century, Charles ffoulkes, Dover, 1988 (orig. 1912)

    [6] "The Cost of Castle Building: The Case of the Tower at Langeais," Bernard Bachrach, in The Medieval Castle: Romance and Reality, ed. Kathryn Reyerson and Faye Powe, Kendall/Hunt, Dubuque, Iowa, 1984

    [7] The Knight in History, Frances Gies, Harper & Row, New York, 1984

    [8] Methods and Practice of Elizabethan Swordplay, Craig Turner and Tony Soper, Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale, 1990

    [9] Life in a Medieval City, Joseph and Frances Gies, Harper & Row, New York, 1969

Most of this is quoted from the Medieval Sourcebook.

mfberg
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Shik on July 16, 2009, 08:55:04 PM
Hey Ron, I've just got a quick question about Horse health - at the moment it's set at 60... is this correct? There are some troops in game that have more hp than that, and IIRC, in OnR, the horses had 100 hp. I was thinking that a large animal like a horse would be able to take quite a few more hits than a human.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on July 16, 2009, 09:14:29 PM
I was trying to base that not on the fact of how much it would take to kill a horse, but on how much it would take to cause one to go down in battle ... specifically while carrying a rider, over rough terrain.  Given those variables, I think that number does a good job of estimating what it would take to take a horse out from under someone.  (Note that the horses seldom actually die in the game ... sometimes they are rendered lame, and take time to recover, but the only way to kill one is to ride an injured one to death.)

So you're right in one aspect ... a horse can be a tough animal to actually kill, especially if you don't get a clean stroke on it (i.e. when it is charging down on you at 30mph).  But it still doesn't take all that much to get one to throw a rider... one good stroke with a pick handle across those front legs, and that animal is taking a nosedive.  Also, if you ever do get a clean stroke on them, many targets (head and neck, lower legs, skin over abdomen) are not really much tougher than a human - you just don't notice it as much, because horses complain less when they're hurt.

Anyway, I think the numbers are probably good there, for a number of really odd reasons.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: buk_2006 on July 17, 2009, 11:04:31 PM
I've read through the topic and found some things I'd like to talk about. Sorry if you don't care anymore, but I care  :lol:

First of all, I want to say that even the "unbalanced" Native version of RCM is a great experience compared to the vanilla native. I definitely like the horses (not only that they're faster, but the way they can get taken down). The way you've done the shields is great too. Overall, it's a nice piece of work.

Though I do have some concerns about your views of different techniques like half-swording. I believe that while very knowledgeable and experienced in certain areas, you seem to also be limited by this. I don't mean to be too critical and hope that I'm not offensive in the the least, but I have read from men who seem to be more experienced and knowledgeable in the particular area of western swordsmanship than you. While you do present convincing arguments, I must go with those who have studied the ancient manuscripts and actually experimented with the techniques. Not only that, but they've also handled (and cut with) real antique swords (John Clements especially). Theories are nice, but experimentation is always the deciding factor.

Also, based on your comments so far, you seem to have the perspective of an eastern style martial artist. While there are similarities, there are also significant differences between eastern and western martial arts, so it's not practical to judge one from the perspective of the other with any serious accuracy.

The ratio of straight to curved blades was not equal ... Japan did favor single-edge blades (with varying degrees of curve, ranging from totally straight to pretty seriously rounded) for over 800 years.  While the falchion in Europe was probably the more common weapon, as it was the weapon of commoner footsoldiers, the knights and other more professional troops were more often seen with straight double-edged blades.  Lighter single-edge sabers (straight or in varying degrees of curve), however, were the rule among lighter horse, especially Middle Eastern and Eastern Europe, and among navy (the infamous pirate "cutlass" was the same weapon as an infantry falchion).  In China, the two basic designs (called "dao" and "jian") were used in roughly equal measure.

Yep, there have been large varieties of sword types in nearly every part of the world. However, Japan and Europe have chosen their favorite swords, the Katana and the straight longsword respectively. You might find the following article interesting:

http://www.thearma.org/essays/Longsword_Centrality_in_RMA.htm (http://www.thearma.org/essays/Longsword_Centrality_in_RMA.htm)

I would point out that the infamous pirate cutlass would be more 17th C and up and is quite a bit different from the falchion seen in M&B.

Quote
Every European sword I have ever seen documented at all was VERY sharp.  (Many held an edge like a razor even after laying around for several hundred years.)  Unless you were an absolute walking tank, you would not want that anywhere near your body.  The tournament "swords" were wrought-iron mock-ups, and deliberately blunt - plus most of them were much too heavy, giving another reason not to use them like swords.  So all of that holding the weapon by the blade stuff appears to be purely tournament.  (That statement not applying to swords that actually had grip surfaces designed on the blade side of the crossbar ... those areas were not "blade", no matter where they were found.)  Any kind of sword that was made and balanced like a sword would be extremely difficult to use like that.

I refer you again to some men who have spent much time and effort to study and practice Medieval and Renaissance Martial Arts. While I'm not going to assert that they are more experienced than you because I'm not sure exactly how much experience you actually have, I highly doubt you have been exposed to the Ancient Western Martial Arts the way these men have. (Some of your comments about rapiers and shields indicate that this is true).

Here is a very good article about armoured longsword combat. You must also understand that there were longswords specifically designed for armoured and unarmoured combat. Notice that the pictures do not indicate simple blunts; rather, they seem to indicate lethal intent primarily with the tip of the sword (why would you attempt to cut plate armor?).

http://www.thearma.org/essays/armoredlongsword.html (http://www.thearma.org/essays/armoredlongsword.html)

Here is also a picture of a longsword specifically designed for armoured combat being half-sworded in battle (not tournament). Notice that the blade of the sword does not appear to have any kind of gripping portion of the blade. While one could argue that it is the fault of the artist, it would be more plausible that this is a longsword designed for armoured combat because it looks exactly so.

(http://www.thearma.org/essays/cent/early15thFrench1.JPG)

Here's another image. This time half swording is used in unarmoured combat and it's quite clear that the swords are not just blunts.

(http://www.thearma.org/essays/cent/T18.jpg)

While there were anti-armor weapons, one-on-one, a longsword used properly would not find much difficulty in countering the clumsy weapons (even disarming) and applying an accurate thrust to a vulnerable part of the plate armor. But to do this effectively meant close range combat (even grappling). Use the hilt of the sword as a hammer also makes sense when considered in a certain light. The blade is not going to cut the plate armor, so what do you do? You can thrust, but the targets are very small and you have your opponent's sword to deal with as well. With correct timing, using the hilt as a hammer from longer range could allow you to shock the opponent and give you an opportunity to enter close range with an advantage. The hilt was used because that's where most of the weight was.

You may also be interested in reading the following article on Misconceptions of Renaissance and Medieval Martial Arts by John Clements. Some of the stuff you have actually talked about in previous posts, but I think some of it may be enlightening to you.

http://www.thearma.org/essays/TopMyths.htm (http://www.thearma.org/essays/TopMyths.htm)

Oh, and I remember you posting something about pollaxes. I think you should take a look at the following video. Of course realize that these are just demonstrations of the technique and the knights would have trained in them far more rigorously.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTVC25hYJaY (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTVC25hYJaY)

Also I'm having trouble finding the Onin-no-Ran mod for the latest version of Mount and Blade. Could somone please give a link or point me in the right direction?

I also share your sentiment about the use of daggers and knives in the game. One time I was playing Native and decided to equip a dagger along with my great sword in case I thought my great sword would not be quick enough only to find it just bounced off the armor  ???
I think if they added disarms to mount and blade (by use of something like a grappling technique) knives and daggers might be much more useful. Of course, it could get very complicated (and awesome) with grappling involved. If I knew how to mess with the coding in Mount and Blade, I might try to implement something like that (not necessarily a new animation though). I read someone here added a blunt axe thrust. I would be very interested in learning how this was done.

Anyhow, I'll close by saying, thanks for RCM and I look forward to the continual development of mods that use it.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on July 18, 2009, 12:17:57 AM
Actually, I am familiar with Clements' work (all of it).  And while I can't say I agree with him on all points, I will give him credit for trying to make his research clear and reasonable.

And I never said that this sort of thing ("half-sword" grips and such) did not happen - merely that it was not really a very accepted procedure.  The exception being very heavy greatswords that had a grip on the lower part of the blade, forward of the hilt, where they were not sharp.  (Note, not all of these clearly marked the distinction between sharp and blunt - in some cases, only the owner really knew for sure.)  Quite a few of these swords have survived, and demonstrate the point quite nicely.

The idea that all European swords were straight and all Asian ones curved is purely a myth.  Of the two surviving swords attributed to Charlemagne, one was a straight and quite ceremonial-looking weapon, but the one that he carried in battle was a curved falchion that looks more like a Chinese weapon than anything attributed to Europe.  I have seen this sword.  And that was a heck of a lot earlier than the navy cutlass.  Reality is that there were a bunch of those weapons, loosely classified "falchion", floating around Europe.  Likewise, the most common Chinese swords were straight-blade double-edge, and a lot of this design showed up in other parts of Asia as well.  Saying that 60% of the weapons in an area had a certain design certainly does not constitute "all", nor even particularly "standard", especially if the other 40% were the exact opposite.

Also note that, yes, there were weapons purely designed for armored combat.  I refer to the estoc, and others like it - a weapon roughly sword-shaped, but in reality purely a stiletto with no cutting properties whatsoever.  Such a weapon would be used more like a spear than a sword, for obvious reasons.  Mix a few of those in with large swords with grips on the forward side of the hilt, and you have a picture of combat where a "half-sword" grip looks pretty common.  But that still doesn't mean you can get away with it on a sharp sword.

And my perspective is not as an Asian "Martial Artist" at all.  My background is 1.) a historian, as I teach culture studies, and 2.) a student of human violence, because I have seen far too much of it.  Tragically, a lot of the work I see on these subjects is by people who are not students of human violence, and so their perspective on what happens is greatly skewed in favor of sport-type reenactment, or "technique" the way it is taught in formalized "Martial Arts" or related sporting activities.  Their picture of an ancient battle looks more like a boxing match than a homicide.  And this difference disturbs me considerably.

I do miss grappling technique in the game.  Smaller edged weapons absolutely require the free hand be used to hold the target in place and/or neutralize defenses, and few if any computer games account for this.

Hope that covers most of your comments.

Old version of OnR:
http://mbx.streetofeyes.com/index.php/topic,1732.msg35715.html#msg35715
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: hayate666 on July 19, 2009, 10:40:34 AM
I'm away for a few weeks and I miss all sorts of interesting reading. Thanks for sharing your knowledge Ron.

I'd like to add a bit of history which most people seem to forget. Middle eastern culture and European culture overlapped for quite some time in Spain and Portugal during the Middle ages. The Moors invaded Spain in 700 A.D. and eventually practically bordered France. The Reconquista (or Reconquering) took off in 790 A.D. and took until 1300 A.D to complete. Although falchions probably weren't inspired by encounters with curved Arabic swords, other weapons, armors or fighting styles probably did. I'm having trouble coming up with multiple examples, but the Jinetes for one were Spanish light horsemen armed with javelins, sword and shield who were meant to counter the light cavalry the Moors used.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that all kinds of cultures influenced each other in the developing of new weaponry and I think people tend to forget that when talking about " European" versus "Asian".
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on July 19, 2009, 04:17:06 PM
A potentially valid point there, but horribly out of place if you're talking about curved sword blades.  The standard Arabic weapons before the 12th century or so were, for the most part, straight blades.  Granted, they tended to be narrow and single-edge, more like a Japanese sword than the European or Chinese double-edge longsword, but the dominance of curved blades does not seem to really come into effect until after the Mamluk set up shop in Egypt.

So it's actually very probable that curved Arabic swords were influenced by the Crusaders, not the other way around.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: hayate666 on July 19, 2009, 04:33:56 PM
No, I wasn't talking about curved swords, because I know Europeans used them before Arabs did. I thought I specifically excluded them when talking about falchions, but I'll try to be more specific next time.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on July 20, 2009, 01:05:32 AM
Always interesting reading around here.  Between bizarre and obscure historical research and commentary on actual violence, this thread could be material for a sociology thesis.  Subjects range from veterinary medicine to metallurgy to psychology.

Oddly enough, the jinettes were probably more the evolution of the Roman horse auxiliary than anything else.  Do remember that it was Rome, not Carthage, that made their name using javelins and darts to support the infantry.  (And yes, I'm implying that the Moors in Spain were just more of the old Phonecian/Carthaginian colonial/cultural expansion system, even though governments changed names a few times in there, and the dominant religion of their group got a slight rework.)  The North African groups used a much longer-ranged horse skirmisher model, based around their really very powerful recurve bows.  So the simple presence of missile cav does not suggest that the idea was transferred - in that case, my information on the subject seems to imply quite the opposite, that they came from vastly different traditions and tactical basis.

Of course, my information is likely highly incomplete (as is any study of anything 1000 years ago), so I don't really know exactly what they were thinking ... that assessment is based on what can be observed to have been true, not on mind-reading of the people involved.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: hayate666 on July 20, 2009, 04:33:21 AM
I love talking about ancient history. I think you're right about the Carthaginian cultural expansion phenomenon. Parts of Phoenician culture can still be found across the world, since their alphabet (through the Greeks and Romans) is the basis for our own alphabet.

Don't forget that auxiliaries were mostly troops that the Romans encountered while conquering and found useful to incorporate in their armies because they didn't want to fill those roles themselves. Also, don't underestimate what the Romans learned from the Iberians (Spanish tribes). The Iberians were a warlike and independent people, very able skirmishers with lightly armed cavalry and infantry trained by generations of infighting. The Carthaginians had always used them as mercenaries and Hannibal was very pleased with them. The Roman gladius was a straight copy of the weapon the Iberian infantry used. The official name for the "Roman" sword was "gladius hispaniensis" which literally means "Spanish sword". Some historians have even argued that the Romans only started using their famous javelins with their infantry after seeing the Iberians do it.

Lightly armed horsemen with javelins is something that is indigenous to the tribes that inhabited Iberia. At the time of the Punic wars Iberian cavalry was armed with a linen tunic, a leather skullcap, a small round shield called a caetra, two javelins and a falcata. Native Roman cavalry was almost exclusively recruited from the nobility of Rome at the time. These equites wore armour that was as heavy as or perhaps a bit heavier than that of the footsoldier. They used a sword or a long spear, Corinthian helmets, a round shield and breastplates or chain mail.

A funny thing about Roman military ethos is that they approached everything they did themselves from the perspective of a footman, which could be effective because nobody thought of it before. Their own horses were used as a mobile platform to get them into a (flanking) melee or for commanders and officers to get across the battlefield. But when we're talking Carthaginian navy versus the Roman navy, the Romans were so stupid it's brilliant.

Carthage had always been a mercantile, seafaring nation. During the first Punic war it had probably the largest navy of the region and a lot of experience with battles on sea. The Romans never really needed a navy before and lacked any experience whatsoever. Sea battles at the time consisted of ships of both sides trying to ram each other with the larger navy usually winning. The Romans needed a navy to get to Carthage and they managed to do it with their footman's mentality. They built ships like everybody else, but they equipped theirs with a large drawbridge with spikes underneath them. Instead of trying to ram another ship, they got right next to it, deployed the bridge and let their infantry walk on board of their enemies ship. The Romans managed to beat the Carthaginians with it, but later started learning the tactics everybody else used. Their own drawbridge equipped ships weren't all that stable and could easily capsize.

Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on July 20, 2009, 09:24:09 AM
Light missile cav was extremely common across Europe pre-Roman Empire.  However, the reference to the jinettes is unique in that they were hardly light ... their armor was at least as heavy as average footmen gear of the period.  That does suggest the Roman mentality, where pretty much everybody from the Emperor to the stable-boy got essentially the same armor.  (There were a few different designs, from time to time, but they all shared basic weight characteristics.)  As far as I know, few others, aside from Rome and the Spanish jinettes, assembled forces of medium horse where their first-strike weapon was a hand-thrown projectile.

Rome was not the only place to use heavily armored infantry to board opposing vessels - this was also procedure in Japan.  Seafaring people, accustomed to sailors wanting to be able to swim, tended to not really have a plan for dealing with heavy infantry as boarders.  While boarding actions, and even gangplanks, were not new to the Romans, having a platoon of Roman legionaries storm your ship was pretty much outside of anything anybody was prepared to repel.

On the subject of Spanish swords, the falcata, used so effectively by Alexander's cav, was also an Iberian design.  The reasons for its similarity to the kukri of Nepal or the bola knives of the Philippines and Malaysia is a total mystery.  While it's possible that the two evolved independently, that seems as far-fetched as the thought that they may have been passed across at some much earlier time.  The kukri's history is not really known, and it could have been a falcata copy borrowed from the Macedonians at the extent of their empire - but the southeast Asian blades of that basic design are bronze age or earlier.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: buk_2006 on July 22, 2009, 04:52:14 AM
Yes, discussing history is very enjoyable.  :D It's a very interesting endeavor in that while we do know some things for certain, most of the stuff, we have to guess at. While we can sometimes present a very convincing argument, we're still not sure if it is exactly right, so we can keep trying to make better theories. The best theories of course are supported by experimentation (for example, restoration of structures/cities and various other experiments like going sailing with only the equipment from a particular time period or something similar). However, these experiments are not flawless either because we are still influenced by our modern point of view and sometimes a lack of information.

I hardly know anything about the jinettes; I just like using them in Medieval 2 Total War  :lol: . I was actually thinking of trying to make a similar troop in Mount and Blade (I want to try and make an Iberian themed troop tree mainly for my own use). I was wondering the best way to distinguish them from those annoying Khergits (since some of their horsemen have javelins). I was thinking of maybe some kind of good leather armor, a sword and round shield (what kind of sword did they use usually? A straight sword or curved?), a courser, and two large bags of heavy javelin :) while I'm sure it's not going to be really historically accurate, I want to make them distinguishable troops from the blasted Khergits (yes I have a thing against the Khergits  :D ). I'm wondering what you all think about the most historically accurate versus balanced portrayal of jinettes in Mount and Blade. Oh, and while we're at it, what about a way to portray sword and buckler men without actually adding an extra item to the game (bucklers)?

Going back to the topic of ancient European martial arts: I wonder if people (particularly knights) were less afraid of sharp edges than we are today. I would certainly think so. They ate with sharp daggers; that's a pretty good indication. Also, I think they were far less afraid of blood than we are today. I'm not totally sure, but I believe the butcher would daily butcher pigs on the public street in front of everybody. In contrast, today some states in the US won't even allow UFC or other official MMA competitions because it's too "bloody" and "brutal" (when in reality, the much more "respectable" sport of boxing is much more brutal). Seriously, most people today are total pansies. If you hit them on the forehead (which does no real damage at all except perhaps to your own fist) they'd probably throw a fit; come on. Even in martial arts tons of people today are pansies.

What is my point? It's hard for a world full of pansies to accurately judge the martial arts/skills of a time when people were hardly pansies (and I'm not calling anyone here a pansy or anything except maybe myself  ;) ). We often adopt some kind of view that we are more modern and therefore better mentally, physically, and martially. Well, in some senses this is true, but in others... They were human beings too. Why shouldn't a world that was harder to survive in produce a people that was tougher mentally, physically, and martially?

So is there a specific point I'm trying to make? Well, I'm mainly trying to say that people were most likely not nearly as afraid of sharp edges as we are today. Certainly they respected them; they saw the terrible effects of a properly wielded blade much more often than anyone today. But respect and fear are two different things. From our perspective a lot of things might appear ludicrous, but our perspective of ancient combat is probably quite flawed. While we think, "Grabbing the blade is stupid. You risk cutting yourself when you could just hold the hilt like your supposed to." They might have though, "I might cut myself by grabbing my blade, but I also might be able to use a certain technique that will allow me to WIN (and survive)." When your life is on the line, do you care about possibly cutting yourself?

Another way to look at it is this: Brazilian Jujitsu (BJJ) is stupid because you can just hit the guy before he starts grappling with you. Do you know what happened in UFC 1? Joyce Gracie beat everyone with Brazilian Jujitsu. That doesn't mean BJJ is the best martial art, but if you haven't trained in it (or something similar) or at least prepared yourself to defend against it, it is probably what will wind up beating you. If you haven't trained in half-swording or at least prepared to defend against it and you're going to fight people who have trained in it, there's a good chance half-swording is what will wind up killing you. You can't just say, "Nobody's going to do that, it'll cut their hands," and go into battle against someone who has trained to use it. Perhaps your opponent will use half-swording and cut his hands or even lop a finger or two off while he stabs you in the throat.

Of course I have heard that with the proper grip, you won't cut yourself. I've even heard of someone gripping the blade of a sharp sword and striking a punching bag with the hilt repeatedly and not cutting himself. I'm not going to claim it's absolutely true because I'm not sure, but I will say it seems quite possible. In addition, if someone just grabs a blade for the first time even with the right grip and tries to actually fight, he'll probably cut himself. However, if someone trained to use the proper grip for some time, it would eventually become automatic; he couldn't help but use the right grip and not get cut (that still does not eliminate the possibility, but it lessens it considerably). The treatises and manuals of combat from the 15th century indicate that half-swording was an important part of medieval martial arts (with the longsword).

Ron Losey, are you a student of martial arts? It's very hard to understand how masterfully someone can handle his weapon when martially trained from a child if you haven't spent a decent amount of time training with someone who has mastered a martial art. I'm thinking that there were quite a few masters of the sword in those days. Human violence is certainly an extremely important part of understanding warfare, but don't forget that knights did not just spend 6 months (or even a few years) in basic training and then rush off to war. The mastery of the martial arts was undoubtedly a huge part of warfare at that time.

Anyway, I want to see how everyone reacts to these points before I say anything else. And please remember, I'm not trying win an argument or anything; I'm trying to come out with a better understanding.

Though since we're talking about medieval history, I've got something else I'm curious about. I've often heard that during the medieval ages, there was extremely little advance in science. However, I do know that there were engineering advances such as new armor/weapons in warfare; there were mills and new farming methods and tools as well as building techniques developed. However engineering is not the same as science. Did medieval engineers use existing science from long before their time, or were there actually scientists researching technology for the engineers?
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on July 22, 2009, 08:11:13 AM
Haven't studied the jinettes of any one particular time period carefully enough to give you a best estimate on copying their armor in M&B (i.e. without getting some pictures and building some from scratch, which you seem to want to avoid).

I would greatly imagine that people of that period were MORE afraid of sharp edges than people today.  I mean, look at the suicidal drivel they tend to teach for knife defense in most "martial arts" classes.  How many experienced fighters - cops, bouncers, people who should know better - get killed or seriously injured because they don't have enough respect for a blade?  How many "martial artists" cut themselves in practice?  They can't even remember not to touch the sharp part themselves, much less prevent anybody else from using it on them.

Now, that said, the part about being physically tough and knowing where your food comes from ... that's just part of an agricultural society.  Farmers process a lot of their own meat, and think nothing of it - but the further you get from that world, the less you see of it.  It has little relation to combat.  You can spend a lifetime farming, meat processing, hunting ... but cutting another human is suddenly a totally different subject.  I've done both - I know what I'm talking about.

I imagine that most warriors of the ancient world learned combat more the way I did than the way "martial arts" are commercially taught.  I grew up around cowboys, cops, robbers, ex-military people - and each one of them taught me a little bit, some of them without even realizing it.  While not formalized, it was literally training from birth... hundreds of thousands of hours of study into arts that could be used to kill people, scattered across two decades of growing up in that environment.  Now, compared to a few classes a week, the way most commercial styles are taught, or even weeks on end of military training, they have little on the depth of understanding you get from literally hundreds of different sources.

Even in ancient Japan, known for the formalized classroom-type training, by the time someone was sent to study under a "master" he was already an experienced killer.  The technique to be learned was not basic training - it was minor refinement on what they already inherently understood.  Likewise, European knights started out as squires, both fighting in the field and learning from not just the knight they served, but from everybody in the war.  After ten years of living and breathing warfare 24/7, on top of whatever they learned as children, they had a level of understanding of warfare seldom seen in the modern world outside of career special forces troops and SWAT teams.  That was the kind of training that the ancient world gave to its warriors.

Not to mention, how do you define "master" a "martial art"?  I mean, someone who wears pajamas in broad daylight and can jump and spin around and break a board?  Someone who has killed men with a knife or a tire iron before, and/or has survived being the target of attempts at the same?  Someone who crawled through months of hell in some jungle during a war?  An experienced street cop whose job is to beat the tar out of junkies so he can drag them in, who gets into an average of 10 potentially deadly fights a week?  A military sniper?  I mean, the answer is that all of them may or may not know something you can use, and each one most certainly knows things that the other does not.  To really understand the arts of war and human conflict, you will need at least some of each of these skill sets ... so learning from one "master" is often a good way to get a very one-sided perspective on the whole thing.  Not that I'm against in-depth study of one topic in particular, but it seems that many who talk about this sort of thing seem to lack the broad base of general understanding necessary to build on.

(Example:  A few years ago, the judo champion of Germany was killed with a pocketknife in an alley mugging.  He was the best there was with bare hands in a ring, but he failed to learn from people who had seen men die on the edge of a blade.  That's getting a one-sided perspective.)

And that's even when talking about real skills - we won't get into the "fakes" - the ones teaching aerobics or sport fighting and calling it something else.  Most of the time someone talks about somebody being a "master" of some "martial art", they mean he has several titles in Asian ballet and/or sport competition ... and his actual skills in combat are only minimally related to that (and more often than not, completely missing).  That's the big problem with the various MMA competitions and "no-holds-barred" matches - they're sport dressed up as combat effective technique, but when actually put on the spot, they look like they trained in boxing and then tried to storm a machine gun nest.

And I'm absolutely sure that the half-sword story comes from estoc or greatswords that had non-sharpened edges.  Because most anybody who has ever been hurt will tell you that even a relatively minor injury causes shock if untreated.  In a formalized duel, you might be able to trade some damage, because once your enemy went down you would have medical help standing by.  But war is not so convenient.  Even a scratch risks both immediate blood loss (greatly adding to one's fatigue, even if minor) and infection.  And even warriors that consider death in battle to be glorious will not risk their lives so foolishly. 

Those who develop elaborate techniques for gripping a blade likely do not understand the fury of a battle.  You don't change grips on your weapon - you don't have time for that.  And technique - any technique - is going to decay greatly when there is actually somebody trying to kill you.  Add to that some sweat and blood ... blood is slicker than snot on a doorknob, I swear.  And since you just pulled this thing out of somebody's guts, do you really want to take a chance on getting cut by it?  Instant blood poisoning.  I mean, there's more to it than proving you can hit a punching bag in a particular way ... if that's all there was to war, then Mike Tyson could invade North Korea by himself.


As for history and "science" ... well, science at the time was called "natural philosophy", and they still used that to mean "philosophy only concerned with those things which can be demonstrated physically".  This principle is known as "methodological naturalism".  Generally speaking, when somebody talks about advances in "science", they usually mean social advances in an atheistic and not terribly logical world view based on over-application of this principle ... properly termed "philosophical naturalism", a belief that nothing outside our current understanding of the physical world could possibly exist.  So "advances in science", as described in most books, constitutes a practice of convincing everybody that everything they can't explain is actually random.  This wasn't really big in the Middle Ages - even people who prided themselves on being logical were seldom atheists spewing drivel about everything being random.  So let's differentiate between "advances in science" and actual useful knowledge.

Actual useful knowledge of the physical universe took a pretty bad hit when the Roman Empire collapsed, and didn't really pick back up until things stabilized a bit more around the 1400's.  Nobody (with the exception of a few monks) spends a lot of time studying plants or rocks when they need to be farming or fighting to defend their food.  But once cities grew large enough to reduce the risk of small-group raiding, and governments stabilized enough that wars were declared instead of just happening, universities appeared and people got back into the business of learning things.  That was to be expected.

This is utterly independent of actual advances in technology, which while they often use information gained from experiments that were constructed along the lines of scientific method, are applied in a more literal way.  For example, improvements in livestock based on selective breeding certainly benefited from the rise of genetic theory, but the process is actually much older than the "science" and can be done without the actual data.  Technology is always changing, either by systematic development or just by the random influences of lone inventors.  For example, huge advances in European stoneworking came from the Crusades, where they added the Middle Eastern knowledge of the subject to their own... not "science" exactly, more like copyright infringement ... but the technology still changed.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: hayate666 on July 24, 2009, 06:28:10 AM
On the insightful comments about combat I've got nothing to add. Thanks for sharing your experiences and I hope someone takes them to heart when it matters!

On the question about science I've got something to add. Don't forget there are things like natural science, but also other science like the study of history and languages. At the start of the Middle Ages the Roman empire was divided between a western part and an eastern part. The Western Roman empire (with Rome as its capital, Latin speaking) was in steady decline for about 200 years while the Eastern Roman empire (capital Constantinople, Greek speaking) flourished. The fall of Rome in 478 A.D. to the German barbarians meant the start of the middle ages. No other single power was able to deliver the stability the Romans used to provide, while many tried to follow in their footsteps.

Most of the advanced knowledge that the Romans had was lost, since most scientific texts (even in Roman times) were written in Greek. Since Latin was the language of the Church (and thus of science in general), people in the west lacked the lingual ability to understand those texts and most of them were lost. Monasteries namely tended to only copy what was useful to them. Perhaps the most striking example of the loss of knowledge is the secret of making concrete, which wasn't rediscovered until the 18th century. The only stable factor was the Catholic church, which was the only place where people had the time and ability to do research. Most research was monastic and therefore religion related and contributed little to the understanding of the laws that governed the natural world or the study of subjects like history and languages. Mathematics was studied to calculate when Easter would fall, astronomy was studied to find a reliable means to calculate the time for prayer in the monastery, Latin was the only language that needed to be learned and texts on drugs were studied to care for the sick. It was all very practical.

The first man who really attempted to bring some advanced schooling back in western Europe was Charlemagne (around 800 a.d.). He instituted a system of schools focusing on relearning the classics that survived from the Western Roman empire. Note that this still only meant study of the surviving Latin texts. This effort was soon ended by the fall of the Frankish empire in 840 A.D, but meant a start of the rediscovery of higher education.

The true start of the relearning of science came with the reconquering of Spain from the Arabs in 1050 A.D. Western Europe had been a scientific retarded place since the fall of the Romans compared with the Eastern Roman empire and the Arabs. Scholars translated the works of the far more scientifically advanced Arabs and learned a lot about maths, medicine, astronomy and other purely scientific subjects. This also meant the first encounters with works of Greeks that were translated into Arabic, such as Aristotle. This also gave rise to the first medieval universities and the start of the scientific method of logic and reasoning. A lot of research was still intertwined with religion, but the first signs of thinking outside the box can be seen. Aristotle wrote that the Earth stood still and the Heavens moved around the Earth, but this idea was already disputed around this time. There was still one thing needed to really start a Renaissance of ancient knowledge and that happened around 1453 A.D.

The Eastern Roman empire existed until 1453, when the Ottomans sacked Constantinople. It lead to an exodus of Greek scholars to the west, especially to Italy. From there the knowledge of the classic texts spread through Europe and led to a renewed study of history and languages. It also meant that progress in natural science was on hold for some time, because researchers focused on the classic texts for a while which made Plato and Aristotle more important in that aspect than they should have been.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on July 24, 2009, 10:12:44 AM
Well, that was a little more detail than the comments really called for.  But since it was started....

As for study by monks in the period, it was not all religion-based.  Much of what we know of the Greek and Hebrew languages, and the history and literature of the ancient world as a result, was from the monastic movement.  Modern genetics began in a monk's garden.  Even the astronomy was not all just immediately practical data - they were collecting the data that Copernicus and Galileo would finally use.  It's just that not much of this data saw the light of day for a long time, because once it was gathered, it was stored in monastic libraries, which not just everybody could get into even if they could read (in whatever obscure languages would be necessary).  So the data was general enough, but access to it was somewhat exclusive (to monks or those who could afford to study under them).

The use of Latin was really quite logical in that respect - much of what was known of the ancient world had been recorded in or translated to Latin.  Much the same way that English has become quite international now, such that there is very little in print today that does not have an English language version somewhere.  "High Church Latin" was not just used on a whim.

When I said that the collapse of Rome was a setback for education in general, I was really including both the total collapse of the Western Empire and the slow but no less destructive decline of Byzantium over the next several centuries.  Actually, the volume of data loss is commonly exaggerated, but the restriction of access to this data was very real (just because few had the resources to spend time in study).  Rome had done little in the way of public education for the masses, and the highly resource-intensive system of private tutors was one of the first casualties of the hard times that followed.


Oddly enough, that is often something that is missed in fiction/entertainment (i.e. computer games) about the period.  There is sort of the assumption that everybody went to school until they were 18, because that's what happens today, and then they learned their actual job from six weeks of on-the-job training.  Realistically, education was mostly a matter of very specific internships at a particular skill - be that an academic skill from the monastic schools or ironworking from an experienced smith.  Individuals, therefore, very much were their job description - you didn't just "get a job" as a (whatever).  These were skills taught one-on-one, for years, and those who attained credibility in a particular field were very much known by it.

That's also why their warriors were "warriors", not military recruits ... peasants were recruited as well, but everybody knew they had no chance against someone who had been studying war since childhood.  That's the same reason modern cops have trouble with the street gangs ... while they were half-learning algebra in high school, the street punks were out on the street learning violence (usually the hard way).  The punks who live long enough to become hardened criminals are the ones who have forgotten more about crime and violence than most anybody on the good guys' side could ever know.  The modern move to remove social caste from the economic model, while noble in intent, has stripped much of society's identity and individuals' pride in what they do.  And in certain fields, notable in this example fields involving conflict, much of the wisdom of past generations has been lost or at least greatly watered down.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: hayate666 on July 24, 2009, 06:37:14 PM
Well I do tend to ramble on a bit when discussing history...

You're right about it not all being religion based, especially in the Eastern Roman empire and with the Arabs, but when you see the original (especially early) medieval scientific texts of western Europe they contain a lot of religious symbolism. The scientific subjects are explained using religious symbolism and such. This suggests that they were very much intertwined at the time.

I think Latin was chosen because it was the language of the church, not because it had access to a lot of written theory. The works that were originally available in Latin were very basic compared to what was available in Greek, even in Roman times. Most Latin texts were relatively short summaries of the original Greek works. The difference is as big as basic rules of maths given at ground school or advanced mathematics in university. Translation from Greek into Latin was already attempted in Roman times, but never caught on with the intellectuals. Almost all the Roman teachers you refer to were captured educated Greek slaves, so translation wasn't really needed because knowledge of Greek was widespread at the time. Greek teachers were employed to teach the youth about the classics and to study rhetoric. Every rich man that had any formal learning would have spoken Greek as it was the language that was used by the elite when talking to each other. Julius Caesar's last words weren't recorded to be in Latin ("Et tu, Brute?"), but in Greek ("Kai su, teknon?").
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on July 26, 2009, 10:03:46 PM
Foul ... I call foul.  Koine Greek was the language of business and pretty much everything in the time of Julius Caesar.  And education was mostly based on scholars borrowed from Greek-speaking places, left over from the Macedonian Empire.  However, by the time the Roman Catholic Church became the official religion of the Roman Empire ... that was several CENTURIES later.  The dominance of Greek had dropped off by a lot, as the educated classes were moved from their original Greek-speaking schools into Rome proper.  By the collapse of the Western Empire, the Roman Church, for example, had already undertaken translating the Vulgate, because the number of people who could still read Koine Greek was dropping fast.  Even Latin was developing dialects - dialects that would eventually morph into the majority of the European languages of today... and virtually none of the people speaking those dialects could speak Greek.

So I call foul on that one.  Bad time order.  Operating under the assumption that, just because Rome was a dominant power for a thousand years, that little else changed during that time.  Simply not true.

The Roman Catholic Church started using Latin because it was the official language of the Empire, and the most widespread language of the time.  It continued using Latin for a while based on the succession of this principle - that they were the Roman Church under the banner of the "Holy Roman Empire" (which never really included anything except what Rome had considered border provinces in what is now Germany, but the title sounded good).  Then, finally, they continued using Latin for another 600 years or so just because nobody wanted to start a war over which new language to use.  As the church was effectively the only international regulating body in Europe, they needed a neutral international language for official government negotiations - and selecting one of the dominant groups' languages (i.e. French, Spanish, or German) would have unbalanced the political system.  It was that simple, no matter how hard they tried to dress it up in tradition and philosophy.  People are motivated first by necessity.

As for symbolism and such, all writing is somewhat influenced by one's philosophy.  For example, writings by philosophical atheists will uniformly assume that anything that can't be immediately understood is random, and that anything that suggests otherwise must be an anomaly.   Writings by anyone with a theological background will assume that the improbable or inexplicable are the will of God (or Allah, or Buddha, or the Great Spirit, or the Giant Spaghetti Monster, or whoever).  This is a characteristic of human language and culture.  And even though the aforementioned atheists will tell you otherwise, none of these positions is really any more logical or less valid than the others.  The only time it is really an issue is when, for example, a particular philosophy directly conflicts with data ... for example, when Galileo locked horns with the Church, or when modern "scientists" insist life was a random chemical accident even though all of the data says that is impossible.  (Note on that last one - the data does not give any actual answers, but it certainly does prove that even the Spaghetti Monster theory is more valid than the "it just happened" story.)  So inexplicable symbolism and bizarre assumptions just have to be accepted for what they are - part of the way humans think and communicate.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: wolfstriked on August 04, 2009, 02:18:33 PM
Hey Fellas does anyone know if RCM works with Native Improved?
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on August 04, 2009, 08:25:20 PM
Hey Fellas does anyone know if RCM works with Native Improved?

erm ... if it changes the item file (which I greatly assume it does), then the two would have to be integrated.  I doubt you can just plug in the item file - it will take some modding.

But in general, the RCM standard can be adapted to any mod, if you have the source code and a few days to plug in numbers.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: wolfstriked on August 05, 2009, 09:54:53 AM
Hey Fellas does anyone know if RCM works with Native Improved?

erm ... if it changes the item file (which I greatly assume it does), then the two would have to be integrated.  I doubt you can just plug in the item file - it will take some modding.

But in general, the RCM standard can be adapted to any mod, if you have the source code and a few days to plug in numbers.


Hey Ron,I see that the combat in M&B has gotten better over the updates.Is this in part due to your mod?What do you feel about 1.011 in regards to its combat realism compared to your mod?Is it still lacking and why?

I tried to install it to native and keep getting errors.I noticed there is an combat.ini file in there also and wonder if thats the culprit.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on August 05, 2009, 06:36:43 PM
The module.ini file with RCM changes a few things to make the model work.  But they're not changes that cause error messages - they're base numbers for the calculations.  What kind of errors are you getting, and when?

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

Native combat models have been refined over the versions, but they have gone from one fantasy screwed-up model to another fantasy screwed-up model.  The whole thing is greatly missing the point on several major issues, like how armor works, how shields break, or the mechanics of a lance charge.  Random change in the hopes of creating "game balance" is not fixing the problem.

That said, my name is among those from the mod community who got into the game credits, and the M&B developers are stated fans of OnR, so it's likely that their hunting for game balance was inspired by the fact that I did an alternative version.  Tragically, they didn't just ask for my numbers - they instead set out to create something even more bizarre and inexplicable.  And boy, did they ever.

As for specifics.... a few from Native that jump at you:

Arrows will still go through steel plates like they're nothing, but you can shoot an unarmored man both eyeballs and he not go down.

Large weapons are effectively just as fast as smaller ones.  There's no reason not to carry a sword the size of a telephone pole.

Any broomstick, when used as a "couched lance", immediately becomes the lightsaber of death.  The simple mechanic that the weapon is still being held in a person's hand is completely absent.

The horses are still slower than mules.  You would be better off riding a giant turtle.  And on top of that, they never go down, no matter how many arrows you put into them.  I mean, it's supposed to be a horse, not a bulldozer.

Most swords and axes have exactly zero chance of knocking a man down.  Apparently, according to them, a beheading with an axe should take at least four strokes.

On that note, stabbing attacks with swords will go right through steel.  If the construction industry knew about this, they could trade in all their cutting torches and power saws for rapiers.  Axes, on the other hand, bounce off of armor like they're made of plastic... but considering how fast you can swing them, maybe they are plastic.

And that's just a few examples ... I could go on.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: wolfstriked on August 05, 2009, 09:42:47 PM
I like what I hear and it sucks that no mods I can find that work with 1.011.The mod im using is native improved and modifies the item_kinds1.txt file and so it would have to be modded in.I need to find out if Native Improved messes with weapons or if its just the horses that are changed.Im too weary right now to look at a bunch of symbols that have no meaning to me. :D Tommorow I will check and see and Ill postr back,thanks.

Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: wolfstriked on August 06, 2009, 06:19:43 PM
Hey Ron,I downloaded the 1257mod and added the RCM mod to it.First off the faster horses are awesome.They feel waaay more real like that and the turn radius dont feel off IMO.I havent tested anything else but arena fights and something seems wrong though.I read somewhere that you made shields so that they wont degrade from wooden weapons but the wooden staffs keep doing that.Also I can see where a sword would degrade a shield but would it happen from thrust attacks.I would figure only from slash attacks.Im wondering if the person who modded RCM into 1257mod might of changed something somewhere.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on August 06, 2009, 07:59:13 PM
What I did to the shields was to give them a high armor resistance number, but a low number of hit points.  The result was quite accurate.

You cannot wear a section of plywood in half by sawing on it with a knife.  It would take hours.  Thousands of slashes would do very little.  Even if you managed to punch a hole in it, it would not really diminish the protective qualities of the shield, nor would it make it much easier to damage the next time.  The only real ways to disable a shield are 1.  hit it hard enough to break it in one blow, like with a large axe, 2. hit it hard enough to tear the straps and such loose (most commonly seen in lance charges in tournaments), or 3. stick a large spear or the like into it, making it too clumsy to carry and use (i.e. what the Roman pilum was designed for).  Anything else is not likely to do any damage beyond what a little paint will fix, and maybe some wood glue.

Note that, in the RCM/native package, I did not really do anything with the practice/competition weapons.  I wasn't sure how people would want that changed.  The contests are really odd anyway.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: wolfstriked on August 06, 2009, 08:22:42 PM
Yes I agree with your ideas on shields.An axe would split em and even a really hard and heavy sword.But I just split 3 shields with my sword while on a horse and it was one after another.Something is wrong with either my setup or the RCM port by Jean.Ive also asked Jean at talesworld.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on August 06, 2009, 11:35:34 PM
From horse is another story ... you charge down on something at 30 miles an hour and slam a 3 pound piece of steel into it, and you can rip a 2x4 in half.  Shields don't take that worth crud (and neither does much else).  Baseball bat at 30 mph will disintegrate a motorcycle helmet ... there were some drive-by gang killings a few years ago that used that trick.  And shields are relatively flat, so unlike armor (or motorcycle helmets), there's not much chance it will glance off.

What you can't do is destroy a wood shield by tossing rocks at it.  Or just wear it out by beating on it with a stick.  You have to really hit the thing.

But to really be resistant to impacts like that, you would need to go with metal shields.  That's the way the tournaments did it.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: wolfstriked on August 07, 2009, 12:29:26 PM
From horse is another story ... you charge down on something at 30 miles an hour and slam a 3 pound piece of steel into it, and you can rip a 2x4 in half.  Shields don't take that worth crud (and neither does much else).  Baseball bat at 30 mph will disintegrate a motorcycle helmet ... there were some drive-by gang killings a few years ago that used that trick.  And shields are relatively flat, so unlike armor (or motorcycle helmets), there's not much chance it will glance off.

What you can't do is destroy a wood shield by tossing rocks at it.  Or just wear it out by beating on it with a stick.  You have to really hit the thing.

But to really be resistant to impacts like that, you would need to go with metal shields.  That's the way the tournaments did it.

Again makes sense,thanks Ron.Can I ask why you dont post at Talesworld.Are you banned?Theres a few mods being converted to RCM and I figure your input would make it better.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on August 09, 2009, 12:12:30 AM
I avoid Taleworlds like the Plague.  (And incidentally, I would know something about avoiding the Plague - they still have a village quarantined a couple hundred miles from where I live, exactly for that reason ... bubonic plague.)

That place will rot your brain.  Shrieking idiots interrupt anything and everything that is said.  Last time I tried to get into a discussion about historical/realistic weapons over there, two fruit-loops decided that a) the presence of one siege-engine trigger found in a Chinese tomb somehow proved that all man-portable crossbows in Asia were 800-pound draw (utterly ignoring the hundreds of relatively intact weapons that should be classified as light crossbows, about 80 pound draw tops, and the simple physics that the weapon they described would weigh at least 250 pounds, plus another 200 pounds of wheeled carriage to move it), and b) that the discovery of one suit of metal scale armor somehow proved that China used a lot of "heavy" armor (ignoring that the suit in question was actually quite light scale - I have seen it, in person - and that it was the only metal armor in the tomb in question, found alongside literally hundreds of crumbling suits of hardened leather armor).  Then the two fruit-loops insisted that I was an amateur because I did not agree with them.  (I teach applied comparative civ to university students in China - if anybody knows Chinese history, it should be me.  These clowns were talking about things that they had never seen, while I had been within six inches of each of the artifacts they were describing.  It was like a turtle explaining flight dynamics to an eagle.)  That was the last straw.  I don't discuss anything over there.  It's just not worth it.

That said, if anybody really wants my input, they can find me here, and/or I still reply to personal messages sent from Taleworlds.  Or feel free to quote my comments from here, if you just feel a need to post something over there.

But no, Taleworlds didn't ban me ... rather I banned them from being any part of my already depressing life.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: wolfstriked on August 09, 2009, 08:28:29 PM
Well that sucks,but I totally understand.Your way of talking and thinking about realism brings alot to M&B.Just played the game for past 8 hrs straight. :shock: Its been ages since I liked a game this much.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on August 09, 2009, 09:48:08 PM
Played a few of those long marathons myself.  Glad you're having fun.

For the best example of the RCM, try Onin-no-Ran.  Not ported, but still quite playable for M&B .90x (not .95x ... make note of that).  The troops and such are much better balanced than what you get with Native variants.  Plus loot, equipment costs, and other factors are set up better.  (Plus much of the weapon graphics package are my extremely clean low-poly models, which are certainly better on computer performance than what you normally see.)
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: wolfstriked on August 11, 2009, 05:22:06 PM
Im trying to find 0.90.Would you happen to know where I can download this version?
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on August 11, 2009, 06:55:23 PM
Im trying to find 0.90.Would you happen to know where I can download this version?

http://mbx.streetofeyes.com/index.php/topic,1834.msg38013.html#msg38013
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: wolfstriked on August 12, 2009, 12:35:51 PM
Im trying to find 0.90.Would you happen to know where I can download this version?

http://mbx.streetofeyes.com/index.php/topic,1834.msg38013.html#msg38013


Ok I did this and am getting RGL error???
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on August 12, 2009, 08:36:00 PM
Im trying to find 0.90.Would you happen to know where I can download this version?

http://mbx.streetofeyes.com/index.php/topic,1834.msg38013.html#msg38013


Ok I did this and am getting RGL error???

Specify - what error, when, and doing exactly what at the time?
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: wolfstriked on August 15, 2009, 12:55:55 PM
Ron I am too deep into Native Improved.I really like this mod since it doesnt change too much so I can play the easier game for now.Its just that I want RCM in it.How hard would it be for me to install this.Ive modded modded stalker so that you had to hunt and eat for survival.I also did a complete overhaul of every weapon in game to more realistic values based on a website I found on modern weapons.

That said I dove right into modding Stalker since it had comments as to what was below it actually did in game.M&B isnt mod friendly or at least as mod frriendl and I have no idea what all the numbers mean.

Native Improved only has items_kinds1.txt and troops.txt.I tried to install RCM for native right into native and got an error so.....could you kinda guide me what to do?
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Treebeard on August 15, 2009, 04:15:05 PM
http://www.mbrepository.com/modules/PDdownloads/singlefile.php?cid=6&lid=1212 (http://www.mbrepository.com/modules/PDdownloads/singlefile.php?cid=6&lid=1212)

Changes: All items use 1.011 meshes now
             Some items that have been commented out have been put back in to fix some of the scenes that were broken by the latest M&B versions. They are non-merchandise, so they will not interfere with the RCM.

Hi, I was trying out your modification of Ron's mod, and I noticed that my start equipment is no longer the same for new characters. I also noticed that the merchants do not seem to have the normal wares they usually have in the beginning. Also upgraded a unit from basic to crossbowman, but he was equipped with axe instead (- just like my starting character is getting an axe instead of a crossbow).

Is this intened or is it something that needs fixing?

Thanks for a good mod.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on August 15, 2009, 06:02:09 PM
wolfstriked :

I have no idea what "Native Improved" does to the game.  However, with a copy of the module system, there is no reason why you could not edit the weapon/armor entries to RCM standards.  You will, however, need to be working on the Python code, not the .txt files, unless you just like mysterious bugs.

Treebeard:

Ditto of last comment - if you do not recompile the Python code, I have no way of being certain that your item list matches the .txt file.  Some of these things saw changes in various updates, as well as any other mods, so your version of M&B may not exactly match.  A re-compile of the Python code will sort out that error, but short of that, you just have to hope to get lucky.


General note - this was intended to be a demo of the code, not a playable mod.  So even if you get the items "right", long-term game balance will be a joke.  If there is a mod you particularly like and/or are involved in developing, I advise you just rebuild it to use RCM standards.  Short of that, there will certainly be some bugs.  Just changing the text file is a really crude way to do the demo.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Shik on August 16, 2009, 06:08:13 AM
http://www.mbrepository.com/modules/PDdownloads/singlefile.php?cid=6&lid=1212 (http://www.mbrepository.com/modules/PDdownloads/singlefile.php?cid=6&lid=1212)

Changes: All items use 1.011 meshes now
             Some items that have been commented out have been put back in to fix some of the scenes that were broken by the latest M&B versions. They are non-merchandise, so they will not interfere with the RCM.

Hi, I was trying out your modification of Ron's mod, and I noticed that my start equipment is no longer the same for new characters. I also noticed that the merchants do not seem to have the normal wares they usually have in the beginning. Also upgraded a unit from basic to crossbowman, but he was equipped with axe instead (- just like my starting character is getting an axe instead of a crossbow).

Is this intened or is it something that needs fixing?

Thanks for a good mod.

Hmm, I guess the .txt file isn't compatible - because of some minor changes to the item order.

However, if you've got the module system, a fresh compile with the new module_items.py would work perfectly. I'll see about re-fixing compatibility...

Edit: update - it should be compatible with Native now:  http://www.mbrepository.com/modules/PDdownloads/index.php (http://www.mbrepository.com/modules/PDdownloads/index.php)
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Treebeard on August 16, 2009, 10:20:18 AM
http://www.mbrepository.com/modules/PDdownloads/singlefile.php?cid=6&lid=1212 (http://www.mbrepository.com/modules/PDdownloads/singlefile.php?cid=6&lid=1212)

Changes: All items use 1.011 meshes now
             Some items that have been commented out have been put back in to fix some of the scenes that were broken by the latest M&B versions. They are non-merchandise, so they will not interfere with the RCM.

Hi, I was trying out your modification of Ron's mod, and I noticed that my start equipment is no longer the same for new characters. I also noticed that the merchants do not seem to have the normal wares they usually have in the beginning. Also upgraded a unit from basic to crossbowman, but he was equipped with axe instead (- just like my starting character is getting an axe instead of a crossbow).

Is this intened or is it something that needs fixing?

Thanks for a good mod.

Hmm, I guess the .txt file isn't compatible - because of some minor changes to the item order.

However, if you've got the module system, a fresh compile with the new module_items.py would work perfectly. I'll see about re-fixing compatibility...

Edit: update - it should be compatible with Native now:  http://www.mbrepository.com/modules/PDdownloads/index.php (http://www.mbrepository.com/modules/PDdownloads/index.php)

Thanks for the answers.

I'm new to modding of this game (and new to the game itself), so I'm not sure how to recompile the py file. I think I'd need some compiling tool that I don't have. I did try the new upload you provided and it seems to work better but not quite 100% well. I do get the bolts, fish and rusty sword, but the crossbow is now a warbow. Also when visiting a lord's castle, the lady has no clothes on her body, and the lord is wearing a lady's dress on his body (- a bit amusing but that means there are probably more inconsistences with my configuration). I'm using your files in a fresh copy of the native folder (that I renamed to NativeRCM).

Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: fragonard on August 16, 2009, 12:25:40 PM
Same experience here:  the new update corrected most of the mix-ups but there are still a few. I think it might be playable, though. There is a repeatable crash when you open the chest in Rivacheg, BTW.

Thanks for trying to adapt this, it would really help Native.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: wolfstriked on August 16, 2009, 03:04:12 PM
Would it be better if M&B were to model more than one attack type per weapon swing.So that while a sword deals cutting it also deals blunt.You would then take the one that got thru more damage for damage equation.This way you could swing a sword at plate armor and do some damage since its also felt by person inside as blunt damage.Take a sword to the head and while it doesnt break the armor it will cause head trauma.

Another question I have is in regards to couching a spear.Sure I agree totally with Ron that a spear thrust at a person wouldn't penetrate plate due to lack of speed but at high speed/couched it wil spear it real well.It seems that M&B would need alot of physics changes to really become highly accurate and I don't know if this is what Talesworld wants.It is probably very resource intensive to start factoring in more and more variables to combat damage.Ron what is your work around for this couched spear issue I just mentioned......you some how manage to come up with an answer for every question :lol:.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Shik on August 16, 2009, 05:40:11 PM
I've updated it again... I think this time it should be compatible.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: wolfstriked on August 16, 2009, 07:13:41 PM
Thank you Shik.I installed the previous version into Native Improved and it works fine.It overwrote the Item_kinds file but thats ok since I think that mod is more about troop changes.Gonna download the newest one thanks dude!
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on August 16, 2009, 08:32:34 PM
Would it be better if M&B were to model more than one attack type per weapon swing.So that while a sword deals cutting it also deals blunt.You would then take the one that got thru more damage for damage equation.This way you could swing a sword at plate armor and do some damage since its also felt by person inside as blunt damage.Take a sword to the head and while it doesnt break the armor it will cause head trauma.

Another question I have is in regards to couching a spear.Sure I agree totally with Ron that a spear thrust at a person wouldn't penetrate plate due to lack of speed but at high speed/couched it wil spear it real well.It seems that M&B would need alot of physics changes to really become highly accurate and I don't know if this is what Talesworld wants.It is probably very resource intensive to start factoring in more and more variables to combat damage.Ron what is your work around for this couched spear issue I just mentioned......you some how manage to come up with an answer for every question :lol:.

The attack types are just statistical modifiers to damage numbers.  They don't reflect actual physics (like the difference between the point actually penetrating armor and the armor impacting the wearer).  I've adjusted them to account for trauma that passes through the armor.

The "couched lance" was an issue that I think I corrected, finally.  While it is true that increased speed will somewhat increase the damage of a spear, the critical issue is that the weapon is still being held in the hand(s) of the attacker.  Therefore it cannot hit harder than what the attacker can control - a greater impact will be deflected or take the weapon away.  This was an error in Native, as they assumed that a "couched lance" was somehow rigidly attached to horse and rider, like a battering ram or something.

The European tournaments held jousts, where trained warriors charged each other with blunt tip but still very real and very lethal lances.  The incidents of the participants being injured were quite rare, and then were usually a result of a rider falling and the horse landing on top of him.  They demonstrated quite nicely that solid armor would protect from a lance charge.  While the speed of a charging horse does somewhat increase the effectiveness of a spear attack, it does not really substantially increase the chances that it will pierce or otherwise damage solid armor - if anything, the movement of the horse increases the odds that it would fail to connect solidly and therefore glance off.

Note: the advantages of a lance charge are not so much in increased spear damage.  The greater advantages are 1. the attacker does not have to time his attack, as with swinging a weapon in passing, 2. the spear arrives before the horse and rider, so if it does land, it will greatly reduce the potential for counter-attack, 3. the lance charge allows much tighter formation than charges that depend on passing beside the targets, and 4. the horse itself is a weapon - being run over by a fast-moving horse is not a joke.

So according to my studies on the subject, both of those issues are about as accurate as I can get them, given the data set I am working with.  (Granted, that data set is somewhat restrictive, but I'm not sure I could build a better one that would run on a computer with any playability... so I don't mind working within its limitations.)  It was actually quite difficult to adjust the numbers in the module.ini to fit the situation - Native had it such that any weapon considered "couched lance" immediately became the lightsaber of death.  But since .90x, those numbers have been adjustable ... which helped greatly.

Side note on that:  You guys installing modified versions by Shik (thanks for the help with that, by the way) ... make sure you got the new module.ini file, and/or added the data from it to your current project.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: wolfstriked on August 16, 2009, 09:24:34 PM
I agree slightly.I wondered about how in the world you could hold a spear couched and not have it rip out of your hand.But I do think that with more than one damage type per weapon attack you could get a better representation of physics.Then again what do I know.That said I feel you the man Ron in making this seem so much more real.I still can't grasp what you have done but it feels right. :lol:
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: fragonard on August 16, 2009, 10:43:56 PM
The update fixes most of the problems I saw but now firearms are showing up in shops.  Getting close, though.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on August 17, 2009, 03:14:19 AM
In the module.ini file, there's a line "Show firearms" ... set it to zero, and the guns will no longer appear in stores.

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

As for what I did, the damage types are just statistical modifiers.  The way to make them more representative would be to allow the creation of custom damage types, with different modifiers.  Tragically, that suggestion was made to the M&B developers before, and instead we got the editing options on damage types added to the module.ini, but not the option to add new ones.  (And incidentally, most of what could be changed in the new options was truly bizarre and useless, and the new Native numbers quite utterly absurd.)

Honestly, minor battering (like what you take when armor effectively stops the blow) has little real ability to cause debilitating trauma.  If you were depending on that, what you would get is effectively the "stun lock" mentioned frequently in M&B discussion - you could knock somebody down, or at least unbalance them and so prevent them from taking effective action, but there would be no real damage afterward.  You can test this with a motorcycle helmet - unless they hit you hard enough to cause a knockout or neck injury (or actually stick something through the helmet - don't risk that, as those helmets are not designed to be weapon-proof), blows to the helmet generally have no real effect beyond a two-second disorientation.  Combat armor reacts exactly the same way.

And so that effect was quite completely simulated just by setting the stun damage threshold to zero - also in the module.ini file now.  That was something else that was correct the first time, but when it was made editable in .890, the Native version became quite absurd.  That port made a lot of work for me - took me weeks to sort out all the stuff they screwed up.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: fragonard on August 17, 2009, 11:18:28 AM
Hmmm... I looked and there is a line: display_wp_firearms = 0
That's the one, right? It's always been set to zero.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on August 17, 2009, 12:13:11 PM
Hmmm... I looked and there is a line: display_wp_firearms = 0
That's the one, right? It's always been set to zero.

Then they will not appear in shops, except as a glitch if you try to use an old savegame (i.e. from a different item file).
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: wolfstriked on August 17, 2009, 01:38:39 PM
Stun damage threshold to zero....this means that every hit you receive will stun you...am I correct?Also in Shik's latest upload its still set to 3.0.

A question on how you did the armor.While I dont know the exact measurements am I right to assume that armor soaks .5 percent of a cutting attack and .25 percent of a pierce/blunt attack?So that a spear when couched-multiplied could actually break thru plate armor and cause damage if its damage gets high enough?Slight chance since its hard to hold something in hand like its cemented to horse of course?

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

Also by setting the bottom 3 stats all top zero.....can you explain that part to me.I am intriqued by this stuff!

Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on August 17, 2009, 08:32:57 PM
Negative - you're reading it backwards.

If a weapon does 40 cut damage, that means the actual damage will be between 20 and 40 (plus a number of modifiers that we won't get into here).  Ditto with armor - 40 armor will get a roll for between 20 and 40.

Now, the numbers you see ... 1.0 against cut means that if the armor roll is 29 and the weapon damage is 30, then 1 point gets through.  Those others - the 0.5 numbers - reduce the armor value.  So 30 points of armor is actually only 15 points of armor against pierce or blunt damage types.

The percentage reductions are the ones that are zero ... it makes no sense to me that an armor could get stronger, the harder you hit it.

And yes - every hit should impart some energy to the target, hence the stun factor. 

RCM numbers in the module.ini should read:


# damage below this will not interrupt melee attacks
damage_interrupt_attack_threshold      = 0

# You can modify the damage system by editing the following values:
# The first three values determine the amount which will be directly subtracted from damage due to armor.
# The next three values determine the percentage reduction from the damage.

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


horse_charge_damage_multiplier        = 1.0
couched_lance_damage_multiplier       = 0.22

#setting speed_power to 2.0 makes damage scale with the square of missile's speed.
# you can set it to 1.0 to make it scale linearly as it was before.
missile_damage_speed_power = 1.0;
melee_damage_speed_power = 0.5;

Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Shik on August 18, 2009, 05:54:16 AM
Also in Shik's latest upload its still set to 3.0.


No it's not. It reads 0.0 for me. Did you extract the module.ini file from the download? You're supposed to take that and replace the one in Native.

As for the pistol issue, I'll check the items file again.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on August 18, 2009, 06:35:45 AM

As for the pistol issue, I'll check the items file again.

Don't bother ... it's just an old save-game.  It will clear as soon as the items reset.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: fragonard on August 18, 2009, 09:58:35 AM
Ron is correct. I restarted last night and everything looks good.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: wolfstriked on August 18, 2009, 03:33:37 PM
Also in Shik's latest upload its still set to 3.0.


No it's not. It reads 0.0 for me. Did you extract the module.ini file from the download? You're supposed to take that and replace the one in Native.

As for the pistol issue, I'll check the items file again.

Sorry for that.Just checked and it is correct.

Alot of players playing beta complaining that its silly to buy better armor since there still getting easily killed.We need RCM servers!!
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Shik on September 06, 2009, 07:49:56 PM
Update: http://www.mbrepository.com/modules/PDdownloads/singlefile.php?cid=6&lid=1212 (http://www.mbrepository.com/modules/PDdownloads/singlefile.php?cid=6&lid=1212)

Some minor changes/fixes.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Jean Plassy on September 26, 2009, 06:47:08 PM
Hi there Ron,

Long time no see! I'm also aware that there have been updates to Native RCM which I might place into the 1257 add-on, manually as always. The issue of weapon lengths not matching mesh ones is of special concern, although the only weapon that I indeed noticed to have suffered from this was the psycho Pike pre-1.011.

I made some changes to your spear combat models, mainly based on my own experience and thoughts on the subject, but also based on how to better work around engine constraints. I've basically turned all "shorter" poles (150 and below) into "one-handed" plus increased their relative speeds. I think this works particular wonders inside the game, since the spears cease to be unwieldy and clumsy and become rather manageable battlefield weapons against both infantry and cavalry.

I'm interested in what lead you to the conclusion that "European-type" spears, or whatever the Native model seems best to convey, are not really good and lethal weapons. It seems as if the versatility and low relative expense, together with the added reach, made the spear a decisive weapon even in quite unskilled hands.

I'm also curious as to "how" you came to the conclusion that spears are relatively easy to dodge, "one way off" weapons. I think this might hold true for the larger poles, but the overwhelming majority of spears employed in combat were short, and certainly very handy and light. I think this is a misconception, namely that there are many ways of using the spear both underhand and overhand as a "long term" weapon in melee. It seems as if the fault lies on the simplistic take-on from the M&B animations, where the spear is always assumed to be thrusted underhand with the grip and the middle of the pole standing besides the torso, which leads to the whimsical penalties due to length and in reality would not quite be used for a true close combat situation.

Nevertheless I'm interested in your comments on this particular take-on with spears. You can test it by installing over M&B the 1257 edition plus the RCM port - the original download thread also includes a handy video of spear performance on the field. I can say that it makes justice of it as a "deadly" weapon, instead of being merely a way to keep enemies away and intimidate them.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on September 28, 2009, 02:34:15 AM
I probably don't have time to check it out immediately, but here's the run-down.

If you're talking about a "spear" - a sharp point on a stick, as opposed to a bladed polearm (glaive, Japanese yari, and so forth) - then the only dangerous part is the tip of the point.  It can't really cut laterally, at least not effectively.  The damage path is limited to an area directly ahead of the point.  So even if the point is a couple of inches wide, you're still talking about a stab wound of similar size to a good, hard jab from a combat knife.  (Deadly, possibly and/or eventually, but not nearly as immediately debilitating as larger wounds.)

This is compounded by length.  Even a stab wound with a longer knife is substantially harder to control than a shorter one.  A six-foot spear with a relatively heavy head is going to be hard to plant solidly.  (Yes, I've tested this.)  If it hits soft tissue, it will still go in nicely - but its armor penetration does suffer from this effect.  The user is off-balance.  Leverage works against the attacker.  And a badly placed hit cannot really be corrected after it has landed, since as previously mentioned the blade is poorly designed for cutting.  So in the absence of exceptional strength or skill, the odds favor a poorly placed hit with only average performance against armor.

Javelins add somewhat to the combat effectiveness by virtue of leaving the weapon in the wound.  Then it is not the injury that disables, but the fact that there's a huge stick protruding from the victim's body, which cannot be easily removed without greatly increasing the wound area.  Arrows have similar but lesser effect - the presence of the arrow shaft itself is somewhat debilitating.  But if the blade is withdrawn, this function is lost as well.

And I never said that spears were not deadly.  If you check the RCM numbers, you will find that, in the absence of armor, spear wounds can be quite bad.  If you are using the bleeding model script, it will bring this point home.  (Bad stab wound plus bleeding will kill in under two minutes.  That's a bad trauma wound in anybody's assessment.)  I did, however, say that such a wound is much less immediately debilitating that breaks to major bones or cuts that tend to sever large muscles.  Like gunshot wounds, humans can often take several very ugly holes being punched into them and still fight for several minutes.

Large, particularly sharp blades on the weapons greatly increase the wound area - they tend to cut a lot more both going in and being pulled out.  A stab wound with a glaive, unless both parties are standing still during the attack, is going to be more of a "stab and saw its way out" injury.  That sort of thing causes a lot more bleeding, cuts a lot more nerves and muscles, generally greatly increases the chances of a first-hit debilitating wound.

Spears have been the most common weapons in human history, for much the same reason that firearms are today - reach.  The further you can keep your enemy back, the safer you feel.  If you can force him to use a long, clumsy weapon as well, then you have reduced his effectiveness noticeably.  If you are using any of the formation scripts in M&B, you will quickly see what I mean:  one spear is relatively easy to pass the point, but approaching many is suicide.  This is the way spear formations were used historically, to make approaching a block of troops quite impossible to accomplish safely.  And in that role, they are more effective than gunfire.

Also note that military casualties are seldom the same as what you would call a one-on-one "kill".  Wounding a man will get him off the battlefield.  Trying to completely kill in the first blow is only necessary if you are much too close to your enemy.  If you can stick him from six feet away and get him to retreat and go look for a medic, then he's down, and you don't have to wrestle around on the ground with him and try to saw off his head.  That is also why many armies go to lighter bullets ... most of the time, you don't need the overkill.  M&B doesn't exactly model this, but the bleeding code does a better job than most computer models.

Hope that clears up my thoughts on the subject.  Do get a simple spear (just tape a kitchen knife to a broom handle if you have to) and test what I'm talking about.  A frozen water bottle will demonstrate the point about armor very nicely... it's hard to stick a spear into something that's hard.  Trying to use a spear one-handed with a shield is almost always doomed to fail, although it works well to scare anyone approaching.  Test it.  I did, and that's how I came to the conclusions I got.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Jean Plassy on September 28, 2009, 01:04:12 PM
Ron,

On spears damage and use, I think we'll agree to disagree here. My knowledge comes from various sources, but mainly based upon Classical warfare.

To be true I think the way that spear damage is handled in RCM is fine given the engine and all... What I disagree is that the spear is "clumsy" and a few other nice points.  I'm an amateur on this aspect, having never taped the knife atop the stick, as you say, but for sake of comparison I've often played with wooden sticks about 6 feet tall... And they are not cumbersome at all! The spear might appear cumbersome because of its size, but in fact the wooden shaft is a very light and handy part of the weapon which can be easily maneuvered, thrusted, and then taken back, particularly if using an overhand grip which can be adapted to a fairly comfortable position under the right circumstances. I do not doubt that in combat a similarly sized spear, which was standard issue among many (Celtic "long" spears were about that size), would actually be faster than a long blade specialized in cutting.

For the sake of comparison, the analogy uses the Celts, since they were about the only people in Ancient Europe who got to use cutting swords in any meaningful scales. The La Tene B and A blades which were found were actually lighter than shorter swords such as xiphos or the gladius, but their tips were blunt since they were essentially a specialized cutting blade; against them, a weapon that relies on thrusting such as a spear has an advantage. Cutting swords need to be whirled around to gain momentum and to effective wound an opponent, giving a larger arc and weapon trajectory than a simple weapon thrust. There are many Classical sources (eg. Plutarch and Polybius) which tell of Celto-Roman conflicts at how these could be far easily deflected, and the enemy by itself would open his guard slightly enough to allow room for a thrust, which could be fatal.

As for "maneuvering" past the point and the clumsiness of using a pole with a shield... I say this is rather due to an inadequate versing in the particulars of the spear. There is a rather good YouTube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tY3GtNoxAdM) which shows professional "Celtic" fighting styles, with the spear held both underhand and overhand with combat, in conjunction with a shield. You'll see that it is fairly easy to keep thrusting a spear, take it off, ready it and then thrust it again just like the blade but with actual speed in it. The spear here has also a clear advantage in reach, obviously - not only it can be pulled around used to make quick attacks, it can keep the enemy away just as much, as you stated.

I would rather, I say, think the "clumsiness" might be true for the very long poles, eg. pikes. These were specialized formation weapons above all, where pike rows would be deployed at varying distances so that if the first one was bypassed, there would still be a lot thrusting at you. But then the pike has the size of about three six feet spears, sarissae being notoriously large and clumsy, and it's not really an individual combat weapon.

My overall point is that *despite the advantage in reach*, it was not the only use of a spear in combat to keep the enemy away. A "Normal" sized pole, about the size of the kitchen sweep, can be very easily maneuvered and used in very close combat, should necessity arise, and indeed given the extensive combat experience of all people who used them, not just among peasants and people who could not afford blades but also by experienced elite warriors (Samurai being also a handy example).  

On combat damage, well nice points over there... Still, I think that vs. a sword (say a Katana or another specialized cutting blade), the spear is still better vs. armour. Spears were often preferred for hunting not because they were cheap, but because they offered reach + penetration, which would be vital in dealing with exceptionally strong animals with lots of muscle and bone to go through. "Cutting" them would have seem unwise, since the cut would probably not inflict the sort of mortal wound necessary to cripple the animal before it cripples you.

I don't disagree that cutting wounds are much more brutal and devastating than poking holes, only in the particulars. Swinging a blade around, no matter how light (again, most of the specialized cutting weaponry was very light) would take more effort, time and be potentially more exposing than thrusting, which means that 1 vs. 1, the spear has more chances of hitting the target. Whether or not the hits are fatal, is a different matter, and thus the cutting sword that actually lands on the opponent would stand at a much higher chance of outright disabling or killing it.

In an unrelated note, Celtic swordsmen employed a particular technique. They always emphasized a fierce charge in battle, where the mass of bodies and the clash of weapons could be devastating to enemy morale, particularly if the enemy was unused to repelling it - they tended to swing their sword around and employ it like a cudgel, building momentum. We have accounts and tests on the matter that a "Celtic" warrior, running and whirling around his blade was actually capable of carving through an unexposed shoulder down to the stomach... So a cut was definitely devastating.

Vs. armour, however, thrusting weapons have more advantage. They concentrate more kinetic energy on one focal point, as opposed to distributing it, which would make it far more likely to penetrate armour. "Cutting" mail is useless - you might deal enough blunt damage to cripple the wearer, but never actually pierce the armour. There were a number of Medieval "heavy" swords which were made to blunt the mailed enemy into submission or death, without actually destroying his armour in the process, but these were heavy and exceptional. I don't think the ordinary "cutting" blade, which was very light, would be able to deal much damage in this regard. Rather these were prevalent until mail began to cover the whole body, at least in Medieval Europe, then cede place to the heavier kinds; a well delivered spear thrust might not have an excellent chance vs. armour either, but at least it is much better at the job than a cutting blow - this is also very much true for thrusting blades, Tallhoffer, Gladius and the like.

Indeed, I've contacted a person specifically claiming to have made tests on the issue... And he told me that a while a badly delivered spear thrust could not penetrate an aketon properly, a firm one was able to pierce through a hauberk, padding and savage the test dummy. It all depends on the circumstances, but the spear can and will pierce the armour. Another reading on the subject, The Wars of the Ancient Greeks by Victor Davis Hanson, tells that an average overhand spear thrust as opposed to underhand was not only faster (55 ft per second vs 24), it was far more powerful (70.8 foot-pounds of force compared to 13.5).

So it might be that the "knife on top of stick vs. bottle of water" test you conducted could have been done differently, or with a proper spear. I'm fairly sure these are cheaper and easier to obtain for varied reasons, and I do not doubt that vs. a solid target in the open (not backed against a wall mind you), it would quickly savage it.  

Now the practical in-game effects of my conclusions were just tweaking the way "Spears" are handled (not as "polearm", since they get massive penalties), plus increasing the speeds to be slightly slower than a longsword for mid-sized spears, while Shortened ones are still faster. That makes it a far more powerful weapon, although it is not really "magical", and it really shouldn't be.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: wolfstriked on September 28, 2009, 01:29:38 PM
Hey Ron and Jean.Funny that I am having same dilema with spears.I've been thinking about them and at first I reasoned that a spear would pierce mail on a heavy attack.But the more I thought about it I cam to realize that spear heads were actually what prevents proper penetration.A typical spear in M&B and from what I gather in medieval times was a super sharp tip that flared out to 2 or more inches in width in a short span of time.So I would imagine a spear that was just a sharp point would break or stretch a link or two and enter at ease while the widening of the spear head from normal spears would actually stop this since now you need to break thru alot more links.

On another side not their are a few mistakes in the newest RCM by shik.Voulge gets 47cut while bardiche gets 47pierce.And also the crossbow speeds are severly reduced.In the mod I am making(more a compilation of mod pieces for native)I couldn't believe how slow veteran crossbow shooters were firing.The sniper crossbow is set to speed of 10.When I put the speeds back to native speed the crossbow men were on even terms again.I don't know if this is intentional by you Ron but IMO

Hunting bow 100
to
Sniper crossbow 10
is too extreme.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on September 28, 2009, 05:52:23 PM
On the crossbows - the heavy crossbows are modeled after the European arbalest.  The weapon would shoot through anything.  However, this was because of a windlass crank reloading system that could take up to a couple of minutes to reload, even if you were fast.  An utterly terrifying weapon if used from behind cover, but useless if an enemy could get to you at all.  If you don't want to see those on the field, re-arm the crossbowmen with more reasonably sized weapons.

Some of the Native weapons were badly implemented.  If something looked really heavy or too long, I tended to model it that way.  You get a few weapons with extreme damage, but too slow to be effectively used.  If I was working with better models, it would go smoother.


As for the spears, seriously, test it.  Test it with a good spear too ... my wisecrack about a kitchen knife on a stick would be a poor test.  Simple physics does say that a sharp point has more energy than a longer edge, but in the case of a spear, the jab benefits little from the implementation of the physics.  Compared, for example, to a warhammer - a sharp pick point that takes advantage of inertia.  A straight jab cannot possibly develop more speed than the movement of the attacker's hand.  Run some tests for yourself, before coming to any conclusions.  Because honestly, before testing them myself, I held many of the same viewpoints you seem to be implying.  It wasn't until I actually spent some time playing with various polearms that I realized what was wrong with those assumptions.  (Make sure your target dummy has proper flex to it ... a stab is more effective if the target is totally rigid, because the weapon can be pushed through some armors slowly ... but humans won't stand there and let you do that, unless they are tied to a tree.  If the target has proper flex, spear points glance off much worse than you might think.)

Also, the wood pole example ... hang a weight on the end.  And make sure the pole is heavy enough for combat use.  That spear point weighs something.  It changes the physics.  Anybody can maneuver a mop handle.  It's much harder with a shovel.  With a 12-foot halberd, it's virtually impossible, even for someone who knows what they are doing.

Anyway, the numbers I was using on M&B spears will result in strong attacks (high skill & power strike, or high closing speed) penetrating some maille.  Less than perfect hits will perform poorly against most heavier armor.  That was the intended effect.  Really making a spear attack effective is just a little harder than you would first suspect.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Jean Plassy on September 28, 2009, 06:13:17 PM
Ron,

Well the evidence makes me look to the contrary  ;). Even with the proper spear tip (instead of an admittedly heavy knife, which hampers maneuverability quite a lot due to many factors), a spear no longer than 6 feet (ie the vanilla "Spear) would be very maneuverable. Do take in mind that the wood of the shaft was often made hollow, to decrease weight and increase maneuverability - at least that's true for the monstrous Polish lances of the XVII and XVIII century.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Shik on September 28, 2009, 09:47:31 PM
With regards to the spear discussion: the spears in M&B range anywhere from 190cm on the shortened spear (effective length of 120cm), to 300cm (effective length of 245cm).
When I talk about effective length, I'm talking about how long the weapon is extended from the grip point.

In any case, although I realize that the spear wasn't modeled to be a particularly strong weapon, the weakness of the spear seems to be a bit overexaggerated. Based on my calculations, a stab from a war spear (230cm, 150 effective centimeters) has a base damage of 24.7 cutting, and a speed of 52, because of the hardcoded 35% speed & damage penalty that polearms receive when used in conjunction with a shield. This just strikes me as odd since a common dagger or knife can do up to 35 damage when thrusting.

Also, I'd like to bring up bows into the discussion: according to my calculations, the amount of damage they do seems to make crossbows nearly useless:

The heaviest crossbow seems only able to do up to 60 piercing damage - that's with steel bolts.

The light crossbow does up to 53 damage. (speaking of which, why is there only a 10 damage difference between the hunting crossbow and the heaviest crossbow? The 10 additional damage points don't seem like they're worth the 34 point reduction in speed)

The khergit bow seems can do up to 120 cutting damage with 7 power draw - that's with normal arrows.

This is going off the fact that the power draw formula is 14% per level up to 4 levels past the requirement.
(bow damage+arrow damage)*(1.14^PD)       PD ? Requirement + 4

A maxed out hunting bow would be calculated as 10+33*(1.14^4) = 72.6 cutting damage.
A maxed out longbow would do 120 cutting damage (with khergit arrows)
A maxed out warbow would do 144 cutting damage (with khergit arrows)

I mean, in game, I've actually ended up breaking enemy shields with 2 or 3 shots with my bow before... I'm thinking that the damage for the arrows seems a bit too high. It may just be me though.

All of the crossbow models in M&B are handspanned, but you said you modeled the heaviest crossbow after the windlass arbalset - the damage seems a little low for an arbalest - I don't ever seem to do much damage with the heaviest of them, and it looks like the tradeoff between speed and distance/firepower doesn't seem to be worth it at all - the siege crossbow actually has a delay after you've let go of the mouse - it's about a 1 or 2 second delay before the shot actually is fired.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Jean Plassy on September 28, 2009, 11:27:18 PM
@shik,

Just take off the attribute that gives "penalty with shield" and the like. You might also *try* making the spear one-handed instead of polearm. That will prevent them from being couched, but then I don't know of any historical circumstance where a spear was "couched" on horseback. You might make sure that Ron approves, either.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on September 29, 2009, 12:15:08 PM
The way M&B handles it, realistically all spears were "couched lance" from horseback.  That is, the attacker was concentrating on aim and using forward inertia for the strike, instead of striking from the motion in his arm.  The new RCM numbers adjust the couched lance multiplier to make it reasonable (instead of making every mop handle the lightsaber of death just because it was used from moving horse, as M&B Native does).

A spear is virtually impossible to use effectively one-handed.  A few ancient armies tried it, using counterbalances on the reverse end and/or planting the spears in the ground ... but even in the case of the Greek phalanx they were more an area-denial tactic than an aggressive attack.  I've tried ... it's just not effective for one-on-one tactics, and even from formation would be questionable.  It looks frightening, but I could never hit my target, and had no real power either.  It's a good way to get your spear taken away from you.  A shield makes it worse, because it screws up your balance even more than it already was.

At the time I was testing this, I was actually thinking of riot police tactics ... i.e. the Macedonians could hold a formation like that, so why can't it be done today?  I got my answer very quickly - I figured out why the Romans made short work out of them.  It's a good terror tactic (which is probably why it was popular), but actually proves much less effective than it looks when it really comes to stabbing something.  Two-hand grip on the polearm is infinitely more reliable, as are shorter weapons with shield.  If you just had to have both a spear and a shield, I guess you do what you have to, but it still poses a problem.  Try it before forming a theory.  Really.

You guys are getting off of realistic and into game balance by just randomly modifying stuff.  I mean, the presupposition was "spears are too weak in the game".  Not really - their length makes them murder against light infantry and unarmored horse.  It's just that they have to be used within their intended engagement envelope - i.e. from formation, in large numbers.

Ditto with the crossbows - the advantage of a crossbow (or firearms) was ease of training (represented in M&B by the power draw feature on bows, which is not necessary on crossbows).  But the short bolt on a crossbow actually makes them considerably less energy efficient (improved slightly with modern compounding pulleys, but still a problem today), so a well-trained archer with a really strong longbow could more than compete for knock-down.  (Side note - crossbow will usually give you higher projectile velocity, and so flatter trajectory ... aim is somewhat easier at range.  Same principle with lighter bullets.)  Problem is that getting that archer is a lot harder than training several fools to operate crossbows.  That's the same reason that the bow won out over the atlatl dart and the sling ... less knock-down, but a lot easier to put projectiles on target.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Shik on September 29, 2009, 01:02:27 PM
Thanks for the reply Ron. And don't worry, I didn't modify any of the combat values in your RCM.

As for the crossbows - just one more question - I noticed that the difference in damage between the hunting crossbow and the heaviest crossbow was only 10 points in damage, - is that intentional? I don't really seem to notice any damage difference when I shoot a light crossbow compared to the slowest one.

As for the couched lance - there's an issue with the M&B AI that's been present since .95x - it seems that if an AI troop equips a shield, he will never couch his lance... would that interfere with the lance mechanics for RCM?
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Jean Plassy on September 29, 2009, 01:53:40 PM
Ron,

Actually during the Corinth matchup, the Achaean League routed one of the Roman flanks. And they fought with spears... Besides, I've been through discussions of the "Macedonian Phalanx vs. Roman Army"; once again, I consider the statement that the Macedonian army "was easily ploughed through" a myth. The fact is that whenever Romans tried to engage a phalanx in cohese state from the front, they lost; in Thermopylae, Pydna, Cynoschepalae et all we all have examples of Roman swordsmen being pushed back by the sheer strength of pikes. Victory was only achieved because of the Roman capability of exploiting broken terrain, plus the tactical stupidity of Macedonian commanders. Perseus fled battle shortly after it began, taking his heavy cavalry with; regardless, his heavy pike phalanx fought to the last man.

Besides we have numerous instances where a spear happy foe such as the Germans annihilated Roman troops - we have Teutoburger, and we also have the Marcommanic Wars, where Rome suffered an astounding 20.000 casualties in a single battle. That against an army that basically employed (one-handed) spear, shield and club - because that was the standard issue of every Germanic troop well into the Middle Ages. Swords and bows were very rare in Germania at the time and mostly restricted to a very confined elite.

For individual combat the best Classical example is Homer - the majority of bodyguards carried spears and were referred as "Doryphoroi", the heroic weapon per excellence is the Dory or Dory Makron, (meaning "spear" and "large spear"), plus warriors per excellence are referred as "Aikhmeteis" (deadly with the spear), signifying their impressive combat capabilities while carrying spears, both individually or not, but especially individually due to the nature of Greek Hero Culture. Priam, King of Troy was referred to as "eumelies" (good with the ash spear), which is also a generic archetype for capable spearmen in the stories.

Back to Rome, we see a distinct evolution from the time of Marcus Aurelius on - the shortsword was being gradually abandoned... And replaced by spears. The Dark Ages were the Age of Spear, and many generals and kings around the period are depicted as holding spears and being master spearmen (Flavius Aetius and King Childeric being examples), while there are no mentions at all of swords. Etc... Etc... Etc... We don't see an equivalent drop in Roman performance, contrary to popular myths about the Roman Army - in fact the Roman army kept its effectiveness with the spears as much, as a good analysis of the period will show.

I'm very deeply skeptical of these claims about the spear being "impossible" to handle one-handed. Considering it was the standard combo for countless more numerous generations of warriors than anything else, and even that even of dedicated elite troops who could have resorted to their sidearms only, AND considering that there are obviously many ways of handling a spear effectively as shown by the numerous drills employed by ancient armies and reenactors alike, the spear & shield was a powerful and cost effective combo, within or away from formation. On the Greek example, the Dory was held by an overhanded grip which was described as "very comfortable", at least by reenactors I spoke to.

As for spears on horseback, for what I know, the best example of spear-armed cavalry in Western Europe is Hastings, where the cavalry employed overhanded spears. That was pretty standard alas before the advent of more aggressive shock tactics.

EDIT - And as a final addon. Republican Rome might be an example of the dominance of the shortsword, but in fact one of the elite corps of the Legion (as opposed to the rank-and-file), the Antesignani, carried spear & shield.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on September 29, 2009, 05:59:40 PM
Shik - I was unaware of the AI problem with shield and lance.  I would assume this is just because the AI will favor raised shield when approaching a target, as there is no real mechanical reason for it.

Heavier crossbows do produce a "law of diminishing returns" effect.  But remember that is pierce, so it's twice as effective against armor ... and 20 points is the difference between light maille and something with pretty heavy trauma plates.


Jean:

Just try to use a spear effectively from one hand.  You will find that, while used from tight formation, they can be used effectively for area denial - that is, you would have to evade several spear points to reach your opponent.  However, actually sticking them into something from that position is not what I would call convenient.  It would take exceptional skill and strength to really make them effective.  Armor penetration is less than impressive in most cases.  The spear points are more of a psychological barrier than a physical one.

(Side note on that - the way pike formations were engaged in late-period Europe involved having some lightly-equipped guys evade the points and rush the attackers, while the bulk of the formation held each other at bay.  They understood that the spear points were primarily for area denial - preventing opponents from getting close - and included troops intentionally trained to bypass this in their units.)

I had always assumed that ancient armies used spear and shield because it was very workable, until I tried it.  I quickly came to the conclusion that it was more of a tactical compromise - adding weapon reach at the expense of actual stopping power.  (Opposed to heavier polearms, which give both reach and stopping power, at the often very severe expense of weight and therefore speed and usability.)  The block formations were intended to cover for the general weakness of the weapon arrangement, by putting multiple points on target and so making them harder to bypass or survive.

Test it.  Try it before you form a conclusion.  That's how I had to do it.

And by the way, I am a fan of shorter polearms, particularly Japanese yari and naginata (both glaives, by European definition).  I'm not saying this because I don't know how to use them - I'm pointing this out because I do know how to use them, and how to use them effectively involves getting both hands on the weapon.  Even then, damage in a jab is much lower than you might think, due to difficulty in controlling the point at reach.  Cutting with the blade also takes more time than you might plan for.  You have to understand that, in gaining reach, you're compromising a lot of other things.  Sometimes that trade is worth it, since counter-offense is often the best defense.  But that doesn't make the weaknesses go away.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Jean Plassy on September 29, 2009, 06:45:51 PM
Well Ron I would challenge you, if I actually lived in China  :lol:. Still, I think you're confusing the role of larger polearms, such as pikes, with the role of the spear; Greek military techniques practically revolved around the use of a 6-8 foot dory among a myriad of troops in the most diverse roles, ranging from Hoplites, to Thureophoroi, their heavier version Thorakites (essentially more loose order legionary like infantry made for broken terrain) to the utmost elites of Hypaspistes and the likes. And we all know how *legendary* Greek military prowess is, ditto.

The point is, these people had an advanced metal smithing technology which allowed them to use shorter or longer blades for combat, and they could have perfectly switched to them were the spear lacking in that sort of lethality, but fact is they didn't. And of course these were guys who knew what they were doing: civic duty for the poleis or training among the elite corps of a typical Hellenistic kingdom entailed deep privileges in exchange for utmost dedication. They basically paid for your home, paid for your farm, your armour and weapons just to have you train 24/7 and stand ready for mobilization. These were not exactly amateurs or people too poor to afford other weapons, although the spear was popular among all layers of society.

Ditto for the average Celt or the like whose choice was the spear - we all know that despite the prestige of swords in Celtic society, there is still a prevalence of Elite Spearmen, among the many rank-and-file who carried spears. Indeed the sword often assumed a subordinate role, and not the opposite. Further to the East, and you have Germanic people who practically and only carried spears, the lower tiers basically no more than a fire hardened stick... That's what I would call powerful backing, after all, if the spear was an inferior and clumsy weapon, they would be quickly darwinised out of the competition by ritualistic warfare or during fights against neighbors. They didn't!

I'll leave to your own conclusions on this subject, and I'm not really trying to forcefully impose my mindset into a mod which is essentially yours, but I was ultimately hoping that you would give spears a slightly better chance in RCM Native. 
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on September 29, 2009, 10:56:33 PM
Hold on ... I think you're confusing "militarily effective" with precise and lethal.

The advantage of a formation using longer weapons (i.e. spears or other lighter polearms) is area denial.  That is, an enemy has to get through all of those darn sharp points before he can do things like grab your shield and drag you to the ground.  And even if the spear point is not the most massively destructive or armor-piercing thing around, the cost of being jabbed can still be pretty high (when you're talking about your personal body parts).  Having longer reach is a powerful advantage - it determines many sport fights (ask any boxer), and can be pretty decisive in a deadly force exchange as well.  Whoever gets hit first is at a severe disadvantage.

So even if it is hard to aim, and tough to use, it can still serve a very real function.  And I never said that they do not.  I just said that you can't stick one through a sheet of metal like that.  Nor do the wounds have the kind of stopping power you might expect.  They're tough to get the hang of using them, and that much harder to use from a one-hand grip.  I've tried.  Polearms with larger cutting surfaces are a little easier to work with, as they make it harder for the target to deflect and pass the point, but even then a straight jab is hard to land.  You're pretty much just betting that your enemy isn't brave, crazy, or armored enough to chance it.  Granted, that is often a very safe bet.

Again, test it yourself.  I'm not trying to convince anybody that my research was superior - I'm just saying that until you've tried it, all the theorizing and historical references don't really communicate what was going on.  I made the same mistake myself for a while, and it wasn't until conducting some tests that I realized the error.  After said tests, however, I developed a much greater appreciation for the kind of discipline and close-formation work that characterized most of the better spear-based forces.  Their tactics are much better than previously believed at taking advantage of the strengths and covering the weaknesses of the weapon design.

(And if you want a historical reference on that, few cultures conducted individual duels with spears.  They were, with very few exceptions, pretty much always deployed from tight groups, preferably regulated formations.  This was even true of most horseback lance charges used in actual war.  That's because they serve a useful function from a tight block, but the function is greatly reduced when the formation is broken.)

After trying it yourself, by all means, tell us your opinions on the test.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Jean Plassy on September 30, 2009, 07:03:49 PM
Well Ron, as said I tried maneuvering sticks about 6 feet, I've seen and talked about the work of reenactors... And I disagree  :P!

Didn't samurai conduct individual duels with spears anyway? Alas, I think the worship of the Dory by Homeric Greece, which was pretty much a warrior culture with all that emphasis on duels and the like, is a perfect example of capable individual spear fighters...

Anyway I didn't change the damage stats for spears since I thought they were pretty fine. I only made them slightly faster and tweaked their polearm stats, and they are far better without being overpowered or penetrating armour with ease, as you might think.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on October 01, 2009, 01:09:24 AM
Speed is a funny issue in M&B ... it's hard to estimate from a poorly drawn model exactly how fast or well-balanced a weapon might or might not be.  Without a historical example, it's mostly guesswork.  Polearms in non-native-based mods are in some cases faster, or longer, or some other combination intended to reflect a particular historical or physical example ... while the ones in Native seem to be based on some badly drawn artist's conception of a weapon.  As a result, the stats do in some cases look like the stats for something badly designed - because I based them off of the model, rather than some theoretical example.

Homer's writing would be about like comic books and chop-sockey flicks today ... more of a superhero story than an accurate rendition of much.  I doubt anyone at the time of their writing really even suspected that they were written with realism in mind.

And no, Japan used very few "spears" in the European sense - the Japanese yari is really a glaive, an extended cutting blade polearm (and often very elaborately designed as such).  Spears designed around a simple jab fell out of use in Japan very early, with the exception of whale harpoons, and they were never considered combat weapons (except as grappling devices for securing an enemy ship, when they could be pressed into emergency service as an anti-personnel javelin).  With the exception of peasants sharpening bamboo stakes as an emergency improvised weapon, there are no real records of "spears" being used at all.  The Japanese term "yari" is often translated as "spear" just because there is no real English word for it, and few modern people would really understand "glaive" (and even if they understood, they would confuse it with "naginata", which is also a glaive, albeit normally heavier).

On that first note, more than a few people have noticed that many of the Native models are unnecessarily complex, don't look particularly good, and are of sizes and shapes that are historically and realistically questionable.  It's hard to create stats for them, balance effects, or much of anything else, while using those models.  It might be worth considering the option of putting together a Native-replacement-weapon pack, just to get the worst offenders off the screen.

Tragically, I don't really have time to pursue it at the moment.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: wolfstriked on October 01, 2009, 01:42:43 PM
 :green: Come on Ron find the time for us.Your input is greatly appreciated by many.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Jean Plassy on October 01, 2009, 03:26:49 PM
Quote
Homer's writing would be about like comic books and chop-sockey flicks today ... more of a superhero story than an accurate rendition of much.  I doubt anyone at the time of their writing really even suspected that they were written with realism in mind.

Eh... What? Homer wrote incredible things out of poetic license, but to dismiss him completely is to turn a blind eye to our only potential source of merit in the Heroic Age. The mere fact that the spear is esteemed among feats of individual valour by heroes shows how much weight and familiarity the audience (in this case a select cadre of warrior nobles) placed upon that combination - you would think Homer would dismiss something that his audiences would miss endearingly...? What would they carry then? Magic clubs of death? 

Besides, one can leave away all the mythical content and focus on the more down-to-earth portions of the story, which tell us many aspects of spear combat in Ancient Greece.

Quote
On that first note, more than a few people have noticed that many of the Native models are unnecessarily complex, don't look particularly good, and are of sizes and shapes that are historically and realistically questionable.  It's hard to create stats for them, balance effects, or much of anything else, while using those models.  It might be worth considering the option of putting together a Native-replacement-weapon pack, just to get the worst offenders off the screen.

I agree, partially, though the "Spear" models seem good enough, at least up to the War and Boar Spears.

Case in point is, that the spear was part of the dynamics of Western warfare for thousands of years. That was also the battlefield that witnessed the deepest changes in warfare of possibly all history, thanks to the fact that it was open for countless peoples and their countless fighting styles from beginning to end... And the weapon of choice, was the spear. Just another nods up  ;).


Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on October 01, 2009, 08:24:13 PM
The Native "spear" model is utterly absurd.  The point must be six inches wide and a foot long, and is nearly blunt at the tip.  The total iron mass would weigh as much as a sledgehammer.  If you look close, the edges that should be sharp are in fact blunt.  If you liked that model, then you must have never seen an actual spear.  (Incidentally, the "boar spear" used the same graphic.)  It looks more like a shovel than a spear.

And for that literary analysis, Batman comic books could tell you a lot about crime and interpersonal combat (or at least the common perception of such), if you take into account the source.  However, accounting for the source will eliminate most of the specifics as unreasonable in reality.  Homer's work suffers from the same - while it describes the common perception of "hero" at the time, it does not seem to reflect the reality of warfare.  For one, the hero characters seem to be able to wander the battlefield at will, looking for other hero characters to challenge.  This sort of thing is much more common in a bar brawl than a war - trained soldiers will prefer to hold some sort of formation when possible.  When fighting from tight formation, the odds that opposing officers would frequently just stumble upon each other and start a protracted duel, while their armies apparently just stopped to watch, seems even less reasonable than the Batman comics.  Therefore, while I am quite in favor of using such documents for research purposes, and quite aware of what cultural and military information actually can be drawn from such, I must warn anyone against taking an obvious work of fiction (albeit historically-based fiction) at face value.

If you really want to know what ancient war looked like, watch modern riot police dealing with a truly violent incident.  Their tactics date back to the Greek phalanx, at least.  It's not flashy, like Hollywood or Homer's writing, but it does demonstrate the reality of hiding behind shields and bludgeoning approaching humans who are trying to kill you. There is no room for the flashy moves that people talk about, and individuals do not single out a foe to engage one-on-one.  Any man who falls is trampled underfoot of the advancing force, without respect for rank or title - deliberately stomped to death, to make certain that he cannot pose further threat.  There is no discussion between enemies, no challenges or witty banter - only the horrible noise of terrified men lashing out in anger, and the sickening sound of crushing bone, and the screams of the wounded.  When it is over, even the hardest of blood-soaked warriors, who only moments earlier were stepping on the bodies of their fallen foes, will sit down and cry.  It's bloody and brutal, and there is little glory in it.  There are no heroes to those who were there - only survivors, and casualties.

But that doesn't make a good story.  So, enter Homer, and Spielberg, and the thousands of other writers and film-makers and poets and actors ... who for all of human history and most certainly the campfire stories before that, have made this event more entertaining, so that the masses would want to listen.  And while their work constitutes a useful cultural artifact, reality is that their version of the events is fiction.  It is greatly embellished with flash and glory and pomp, and the true horror of the situation is disguised in terms of honor and glory.  Pain and death are painted as glorious, to the point that any character showing emotion at such is deemed to be demonstrating great sensitivity.  Real accomplishments (i.e. tactical decisions that actually resulted in saving some lives) are minimized, and unrealistic feats of strength or physical dexterity (or insane decisions and acts of desperation that accidentally worked out) are portrayed as the characteristics of a "hero".  That is entertainment.


Now, ancient armies often used spears because they were, when used from formation, extremely effective at area denial.  That is, they kept an opposing force from being able to effectively approach and engage.  In that role, everybody carried one.  Incidentally, every force so armed in recorded history also carried backup weapons for dealing with any opponent who managed to pass the spear point... because the weapon was useful in one role (extending reach), but incredibly clumsy in the other (close-quarters).  This assessment can be confirmed both by historical records and by experimentation.

Tragically, M&B doesn't really have the formation scripts or AI capabilities to accurately model what a truly well-trained force could do with this idea.  Even more tragically, tweaking the numbers to make the weapons more effective in-game will result in even more bizarre results.  The only thing that really helps is actually replacing the models with spears of more appropriate lengths and designs, and then building appropriate statistics for them.  And that is a LOT of work, and it still does not correct the hit-and-miss AI.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Shik on October 02, 2009, 10:39:47 AM
Ron, I know you've posted a lot about the native models, but IMO, it only seems to be the case for some of the older models dating from the earliest versions of the games.
(http://i378.photobucket.com/albums/oo223/feidao_2008/th_old_weapons.jpg) (http://s378.photobucket.com/albums/oo223/feidao_2008/?action=view&current=old_weapons.jpg)(http://i378.photobucket.com/albums/oo223/feidao_2008/th_old_mace.jpg) (http://s378.photobucket.com/albums/oo223/feidao_2008/?action=view&current=old_mace.jpg)

I can't really find much wrong with the newer models - they seem to be rather clean and nice:
(http://i378.photobucket.com/albums/oo223/feidao_2008/th_axe_brf.jpg) (http://s378.photobucket.com/albums/oo223/feidao_2008/?action=view&current=axe_brf.jpg)(http://i378.photobucket.com/albums/oo223/feidao_2008/th_mace_brf.jpg) (http://s378.photobucket.com/albums/oo223/feidao_2008/?action=view&current=mace_brf.jpg)(http://i378.photobucket.com/albums/oo223/feidao_2008/th_spear_brf.jpg) (http://s378.photobucket.com/albums/oo223/feidao_2008/?action=view&current=spear_brf.jpg)

On a tangent note: I know you don't visit the main forums much, so you might not have heard about it. There's a new BRFeditor out there called OpenBRF; if you don't have it already, you should probably get it since its far better than BRFedit is, and its fully compatible with the meshes in the Warband expansion.
OpenBRF (http://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php/topic,72279.0.html)
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on October 02, 2009, 11:29:31 AM
My comments referred specifically to the older models, yes.  The newer models are surely better. 

However, that new spear is still really strange.  First it narrows to a point so small that there is a reasonable chance the head would bend or break.  Then it has those harpoon barbs, which would be a really stupid thing to put on a footman's lance.  Good for a javelin or whale harpoon, or even a boar spear (although that one is clearly not a boar spear - it lacks any guard or cross-member to keep the pig off of the hunter).  The mace seems to have deliberately blunted ribs as well, which would be somewhat counter-productive - while they were generally not really sharpened, the idea was to taper them enough to concentrate force on a narrow area.  So yes, they're better ... but that didn't really fix the problem.

In the sense of being better, a beer bottle is a better weapon than a tennis racket.  However, if you're equipping an army, it's better to let them drink the beer and find some weapons that look like weapons.  ("... three valiant but unskillful men, and three resolute men half drunk... " - George Silver, "Paradoxes of Defence", 1599)  ("If I knew what kind of whiskey General Grant drank, I would send a barrel of it to some of my other generals" - Abraham Lincoln)

And personally, I still think whoever drew those models had a little too much of whatever Ulysses S. Grant drank.  They were resolute, but not particularly skillful.

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

Actually, I saw the prototype versions of OpenBrf before they were released.  Marco Tarini sent them to me directly, for testing.  I haven't picked up the latest version yet, because quite honestly, aside from finding time to add a few comments here, I'm really not accomplishing anything in the modding department right at the moment.  Too much other insanity going on at the moment.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Jean Plassy on October 02, 2009, 02:51:29 PM
Quote
The Native "spear" model is utterly absurd.  The point must be six inches wide and a foot long, and is nearly blunt at the tip.  The total iron mass would weigh as much as a sledgehammer.  If you look close, the edges that should be sharp are in fact blunt.  If you liked that model, then you must have never seen an actual spear.  (Incidentally, the "boar spear" used the same graphic.)  It looks more like a shovel than a spear.

Huh? What?

(http://www.kultofathena.com/images/thumbs/t_881011.jpg)

(http://www.powning.com/jake/images/0BM3.jpg)

(http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:7h1dMn8Q5vcr2M:http://image18.webshots.com/19/1/64/63/212416463UiabhV_fs.jpg)

As you see, the Native spearhead is actually mildly average. Yes, these are combat spears.

Quote
And for that literary analysis, Batman comic books could tell you a lot about crime and interpersonal combat (or at least the common perception of such), if you take into account the source.  However, accounting for the source will eliminate most of the specifics as unreasonable in reality.  Homer's work suffers from the same - while it describes the common perception of "hero" at the time, it does not seem to reflect the reality of warfare.  For one, the hero characters seem to be able to wander the battlefield at will, looking for other hero characters to challenge.  This sort of thing is much more common in a bar brawl than a war - trained soldiers will prefer to hold some sort of formation when possible.  When fighting from tight formation, the odds that opposing officers would frequently just stumble upon each other and start a protracted duel, while their armies apparently just stopped to watch, seems even less reasonable than the Batman comics.  Therefore, while I am quite in favor of using such documents for research purposes, and quite aware of what cultural and military information actually can be drawn from such, I must warn anyone against taking an obvious work of fiction (albeit historically-based fiction) at face value.

If you really want to know what ancient war looked like, watch modern riot police dealing with a truly violent incident.  Their tactics date back to the Greek phalanx, at least.  It's not flashy, like Hollywood or Homer's writing, but it does demonstrate the reality of hiding behind shields and bludgeoning approaching humans who are trying to kill you. There is no room for the flashy moves that people talk about, and individuals do not single out a foe to engage one-on-one.  Any man who falls is trampled underfoot of the advancing force, without respect for rank or title - deliberately stomped to death, to make certain that he cannot pose further threat.  There is no discussion between enemies, no challenges or witty banter - only the horrible noise of terrified men lashing out in anger, and the sickening sound of crushing bone, and the screams of the wounded.  When it is over, even the hardest of blood-soaked warriors, who only moments earlier were stepping on the bodies of their fallen foes, will sit down and cry.  It's bloody and brutal, and there is little glory in it.  There are no heroes to those who were there - only survivors, and casualties.


Actually, no. Your complete dismissal of Homer in this aspect is not shared by anyone versed in Greek history that I know of. "Batman" is a comic book, Homer at least tells us of individual combat where it can be distinguised, AND of course there'll be heroes running around looking for combat at will - this was a convention which said heroic societies respected, lauded and honoured. Any analysis of the Ancient Celts will tell you the same: instead of resorting to big fights with thousands of men, they let their champions do the job of solving mediated disputes for them. Nothing far fetched, alas, and in Homeric culture, if you were looking for a duel, you would have it.  

As for the glory of war, your stance is the result of a century that stimulated pacifism and an anti-war stance above anything else, thanks to the fact that we have seen two high intensity conflicts at roughly the same time. That is not to say that people who actively participated in wars did not take their roles as "glorious" or honourable, indeed hero cultures have a particular emphasis on the endurance of the warrior, his training and individual martial strength. For the Celts or Homeric Greeks, dismissing war merely because it was gory and bloody was called "Cowardice"; maybe not because of inexperience or romantic dreaming, since you were expected to know and actively witness warfare since a young age, but because survival depended on an elite class of warriors who could not turn tail and run or shun combat. Bar that, it depended on every man of the tribe.

Tribal warfare ethos has always been violent and warlike: we have examples from the Celts from Ireland. They painted their shields red with the blood of enemies, anyone from 13 on and male had to join a raid against a neighbor (lest he should be considered pariah - and killed)... And particularly warlike soldiers would have their shields so dyed in red that it would appear dark (together with some nice scary implements as wearing the skin of your foe).

That is not to say that these cultures were made of immoral warriors. The majority of men in a Tribe would be just like you and me, doing farming or trading for a living and taking arms only when war came. That's where the "Heroic" ethos comes through - the "Heroes" were supposed to be a class of dedicated professional warriors who would be specialized into a fight, and in the very case the * hit the fan, they would be the ones commanding and inspiring the masses of recruits AND doing the brunt of the work. Even then, they were not averse to individual challenge, which was promptly answered depending on the enemy.

Quote
When the armies are drawn up in battle-array, they [the chiefs] are wont to advance
before the battleline and to challenge the bravest of their opponents to single combat, at
the same time brandishing before them their arms so as to terrify their foe. When some-
one accepts their challenge to battle, they loudly recite the deeds of valour of their ances-
tors and proclaim their own valorous quality, at the same time abusing and making little
oftheir opponent and generally attempting to rob him beforehand of his fighting spirit.

Diodorus Siculus, Hist. 5.29 - taken from Cunliffe, the Ancient Celts.

Looking back, it seems that despite the apparent (and necessary) violence and warlike modicum of tribal conflicts, the use of Champions actually PREVENTED war. Instead of levying just all able-bodied men for a brawl, like the Romans did, the Celts had political mediators and engaged in personal duels between the few, proud and exceptionally brutal. This saved them from war many and many times. It is not far fetched all to think the same of say, Homeric Greece.

-----

To complete on this we have examples from virtually every time in history where personal duels were actively encouraged, or at least not prevented, including if not limited to Japan and Medieval Europe... So your concern about people stumbling around is completely unfounded.

THAT is also not to say that "Champions", if this meant the heroic elites, would not be able to act cohesively as an unit. This is completely false - the Knights were actually trained as much as an unit as they would be for individual duelling and jousting. Similarly, the Heroic Elites of Ancient Greece would stand in line, all things ready; they would not charge in an unruly manner at the enemy. Not even "barbarians" such as the Celts did... So your perception is also inaccurate here.


Quote
But that doesn't make a good story.  So, enter Homer, and Spielberg, and the thousands of other writers and film-makers and poets and actors ... who for all of human history and most certainly the campfire stories before that, have made this event more entertaining, so that the masses would want to listen.  And while their work constitutes a useful cultural artifact, reality is that their version of the events is fiction.  It is greatly embellished with flash and glory and pomp, and the true horror of the situation is disguised in terms of honor and glory.  Pain and death are painted as glorious, to the point that any character showing emotion at such is deemed to be demonstrating great sensitivity.  Real accomplishments (i.e. tactical decisions that actually resulted in saving some lives) are minimized, and unrealistic feats of strength or physical dexterity (or insane decisions and acts of desperation that accidentally worked out) are portrayed as the characteristics of a "hero".  That is entertainment.

Funny that you referred to Spielberg here, because in many movies (eg. Schindler's List), he conveys the contrary: war is gory and brutal. There was massacre and extermination. Etc... Etc... Etc...

So knowing this, it is clear that Homer wrote what his patrons wanted to hear. That is, war is glorious, and brave warriors like them would earn glory and fame; this is not dissimilar at all with Cu Chulainn or thousand other tales. While Cu Chulainn and Achilles might not have existed at all except as an archetypal model, it shows what their values in combat were and how combat situations would often proceed.

Quote
Now, ancient armies often used spears because they were, when used from formation, extremely effective at area denial.  That is, they kept an opposing force from being able to effectively approach and engage.  In that role, everybody carried one.  Incidentally, every force so armed in recorded history also carried backup weapons for dealing with any opponent who managed to pass the spear point... because the weapon was useful in one role (extending reach), but incredibly clumsy in the other (close-quarters).  This assessment can be confirmed both by historical records and by experimentation.

Actually, no. Sidearms were carried because spear shafts were easy to break, especially during a charge - at least that's what Greek history tells us (source: Greek Warfare, Myths and Realities) - the Hoplites would charge with a spear, fight with a spear, and use their sidearms only when the spear shafts broke, which happened often during the charge. Depending on the length of the spear at all (some were extremely short) and the status of the warrior, there would be no sidearms either.
 

Quote
Tragically, M&B doesn't really have the formation scripts or AI capabilities to accurately model what a truly well-trained force could do with this idea.  Even more tragically, tweaking the numbers to make the weapons more effective in-game will result in even more bizarre results.  The only thing that really helps is actually replacing the models with spears of more appropriate lengths and designs, and then building appropriate statistics for them.  And that is a LOT of work, and it still does not correct the hit-and-miss AI.

Curiously, the "Shortened Spear" seems to be fairly equivalent in size to most Celtic spears (which were pretty short). The "Spear" to the usual La-Tene "longspear" (which was the longest pole most Celts carried, short of specialized formations), while the "War Spear" is just slightly smaller than a Dory... Nods up, but I don't think there's anything wrong with their lengths or the size of their spearheads.

... I don't know the exact role of the spear barb, but it would presumably be done in to ease the withdrawal of the spear off an enemy body or something else by offering a stand for your foot, while fists\the other foot\knees\whatever force the body away - this is not particularly hard if you hold the spear overhand in a "hoplite-like" stance and then proceed on how to do it. It could be also to prevent the spear pole from penetrating too deeply and becoming embedded, which would be cumbersome to take off in the middle of a battle and could break the spear, if taken off at all.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Jean Plassy on October 02, 2009, 03:43:35 PM
Ron,

On a sidenote to our conversation, I am eagerly awaiting for the release of Hegemonia 268 B.C, which is a mod dealing with the Classical world. Depending on the actual state of the combat system (I did not check the previous versions yet), I might port it to RCM... And since models are (mostly) based on archaeological findings, I suppose there would be much less of that "model absurdity" of Native. I would promptly welcome your input, of course, as soon as you see the models; they already have been mostly previewed, alas, in their Taleworlds sub-forum.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on October 02, 2009, 08:00:14 PM
Interestingly, the wide-blade spears pictured (and also similar examples from other time frames and locations) are an extremely thin blade with a single raised ridge along the center-line, to reinforce it.  (This was a very common design, and one that M&B is missing.  Many were, in practice, cutting spears or a lightweight glaive.)  They are NOT diamond cross-section an inch thick.  Historical examples of diamond cross-section spear tips are universally narrow enough to keep the weight reasonable.  The inability to distinguish between these two very different designs seems to be at the core of the graphics errors.

The barbs on the M&B spear model are turned back.  Their only possible function would be to make the spear impossible to remove from a wound.  This would obviously not be a good idea, if the polearm was an infantryman's primary weapon.  The Roman pilum used this sort of thing, but it was a deliberately disposable weapon - it was either thrown or driven into an opponent's body or shield and then released, to allow the size and weight of the weapon to incapacitate the target.  The pictured weapon was clearly not designed with that concept in mind, so the barbs are, in a word, incorrect.  The design was planned to look scary, not to actually work.


Historically, the use of champions to decide battles was a factor.  However, this was done before engaging in combat, and in the hope that large-scale combat could be avoided.  It was, in a word, a form of diplomacy - a way of frightening leaders into surrender or withdrawal from the field without engaging their army.  Once the armies clashed, it was much too late for that.  Personally, I think a lot of modern wars should be determined this way - I would buy tickets to watch some politicians go at each other with knives.  That would be great.

And my view of the horror of personal combat has nothing to do with the pacifism of a society.  I grew up around armed cowboys.  My basic point is that I have personally seen too much.  I cannot see any glory in watching people die writhing in a pool of their own blood and snot and urine, crying and twitching and trying to put their intestines back into their bodies.  There is even less glory in it when the injured person was just a street robber who tried to knife you - they're not dying for any cause except being stupid and greedy, and no matter how lethal they were, your victory over them was still about as glorious as taking out the garbage.  That's just 13 years of nightmares (and counting).  Repeat that scene several times, and you'll have a pretty good picture of where I'm coming from - it's not pacifism.  If it was pacifism, I could look in the mirror and not be afraid, and close my eyes at night without hearing the screams.

The warriors of the ancient world saw this too.  Unlike even modern armies, who certainly see their share of horror, ancient warfare was extremely close-quarters and they were promised a much better look at it.  And like today, at least half of them were completely unable to talk about it afterward.  Those who could bring themselves to remember and talk or write about it usually told the stories that impressed them in a positive way.  They very much assumed that others either realized the horror, or else did not want to hear about it.  Even the stories that included the details of gore generally fail to mention the true impact on the people involved - they don't tell the part afterward where the soldiers puke, or cry, or drink themselves into a coma.  That part is omitted out of concern for the soldiers and/or the country, or just because they didn't really think it part of the story.  Then, when the fictionalized accounts appear, they completely omit that part because nobody documented it.

Yes, Homer's writing was aimed at showing the common perception of a "hero".  In that respect, it is a useful cultural artifact for studying the philosophy and social understanding of the time.  That still does not mean it was accurate to warfare.  Homer was not there.  Even if he had seen some actual battle somewhere, he was not writing to be accurate.  He was trying to make his hero characters larger than life.  In that respect, he was deliberately playing to the misconceptions of what heroes and kings do in a combat environment.

You ever notice that, in all of those war movies, John Wayne as never shown spending 14 hours in a foxhole just trying to remember to keep his head down?  Yet this is a huge part of an actual firefight - hours of fear mixed with boredom.  In the movies, they're always running around shooting at this and that.  Same story with Achilles - he's always pictured running around getting into trouble, instead of behind a shield two ranks back from the front (where real command-level officers would likely be when armies of that size actually clashed).  Heroes in entertainment don't fight from formation (or foxholes).  This is a very old convention in literature - at very least dating back to the stories that Pharaoh Ramses I told of himself.  Since then, no story with a specific "hero" has been without it.  Homer played this theme to the maximum.


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

And sure, when/if you're ready to start on the Hegemonia 268 B.C. RCM project, I'll do what I can to help.  Time has been a little more limited than usual, here recently, but I would make time somewhere.  Realistic 3D models should certainly make it easier.  However, I will need to see everything at once.  (Some of the RCM data is tweaked by setting and equipment - the truly custom-designed RCM mods use slightly individualized rescale.  That is something missing in the RCM-Native pack.)
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Jean Plassy on October 02, 2009, 08:47:17 PM
Well, Ron, I think we can finally agree with it. War is hell... And gory too.

Still the kind of combat which you describe is rather... too "modern". Yes the average recruit today has to spend a shitload of psychological pressure.

In comparison Celtic warfare, as most warfare in "Barbarian" Europe, was more of an impulsive affair. Celts have been more than once described as tall and fierce, but if faced with steady resistance (I take this from Cunliffe), the general impression is that they became rather disorderly and discouraged. That is again, not to say that they were cowards, but that warfare pretty much revolved into using the mass of men, shields and weaponry into charging and breaking up enemies rather quickly; that was by itself formidable, combined with the intimidation they often made upon an enemy army. We know from accounts that their chariots were deliberately modified to produce loud crank noises during the run, which on the battlefield would produce quite an impact... And more. They also sang, and screamed war cries - all that supposedly for a swift conduction of battle, and to boast their morale.  

Point is that the whole affair was conducted rather quickly. There were occasionally large and long raiding expeditions conducted by war parties such as those by Brennus against Italia or the Volcae, but most conflict consisted of low intensity tribal strife. If the issue was not solved by individual prowess, then at most a professional warrior class would be called, and also a levy of lower quality if more men were needed, then taken to the point of conflict... And the issue would be solved in a single afternoon, given that combat was expected to be swift. The loser would run away and forced to accept terms, or resort to guerrilla combat and such things, where perhaps the analogy holds a bit more truth.

It was nothing like "Verdun" or the "Somme", of course. Even the professional class was supposed to stay a limited amount of time in the front before disbanding, since there was no "permanent" army in any sense.

But apart from all those neat details, on a closer look, I would also have to agree with you on spear designs (I thought the issue of contention was merely the size of the spearhead). Though presumably the Native "Spear" would be hollow - there's no way to find it - so the actual weight would still be somewhat reasonable. Anyway, in the lack of a proper model, I just press on and assume a lot of things, mainly because I feel spear combat could see some tweaks regardless.

... These examples are mostly La Tene B (with the exception of the first pictured spear), thus the typical Celtic spears (By now you should know I'm a Celtophile  :lol:). I was thinking how viable it would be to give Cut damage to spears, it is not like this is plainly impossible with any spear design. Presumably it would not be as effective as a cutting blade, but still, something that could be resorted to should the situation demand it.
 

EDIT - The name of the Mod is Hegemony, here is the previewed equipment. Some of them are no longer available because of image hosting, but it gives you a fairly good idea of what is in hand:

http://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php/topic,69610.0.html
http://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php/topic,77593.0.html
http://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php/topic,77267.0.html
http://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php/topic,69158.0.html
http://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php/topic,72668.0.html
http://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php/topic,74336.0.html
http://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php/topic,70497.0.html
http://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php/topic,76264.0.html

Another interesting sidenote... Is that the Rhomphaia, which is a slightly elliptical blade mounted atop a wooden pommel, as well as the Falx, are fairly similar to the Naginata. Both were reportedly well able to pierce through heavy armour to a great extent.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on October 02, 2009, 10:25:38 PM
I cut and pasted the mod name from your previous post ... I had no idea what the official name was.  So I was just repeating your typo.

Spears can be given cut damage on a swing.  The gliave and pole-axes do just that.  However, unless it was an extremely common procedure (as with the Japanese yari), it will cause game oddities when the AI uses them as slashing polearms far too often.  In ONR, most of the Japanese yari were assigned as cutting polearms, excluding only the very longest (as even if they were used to slash, it would be mostly linear movement, i.e. stab and draw cut).  If I were modeling a Sudanese spear (a spade-shaped glaive about a foot wide), I would certainly add swing as a possible attack - they were used more like a battleaxe than a pike.  Most Celtic spears, I would probably not - even when used as a slicing weapon, the motion was generally linear (a "jab", as it were).

I'm not sure where you got the reference to spears being "hollow".  I only know of two "hollow" areas on any spear design.  One is on socket points (as opposed to those with a tang), where the hollow area is where the wooden shaft is inserted and secured.  It is not really hollow when the shaft is in place.  The other was in late-period jousting lances, where the hand guards were often more of an umbrella of thin metal than a solid wooden block, leaving a slight air space beneath them.  If you make a spear out of steel pipe, the inside would be hollow, but that certainly will not work with wood.  It's hard enough to keep wood from splintering even if it's an inch and a half diameter solid hardwood.  And no part of the inside of the tip can be hollow, or it would crush on impact - the idea is to increase the cross-sectional density, not to reduce it to nothing.  The reference to hollow areas on the late-period Polish lances was the second one mentioned - the hand guards extended away from the shaft.  Extremely cheap spears in Asia were sometimes bamboo, but even then they favored solid-core variants like rattan when that option was available, and those were still considered substandard.  Bamboo laminate on the outside of hardwood, to prevent the wood from splintering, was the rule for professionally made polearms in Japan and China, but they were certainly not hollow, just layered.  With the exception of purely ceremonial or decorative weapons, I have never heard of any weapon blade or tip that was designed to be hollow - and generally anything using metal pipe as a spear shaft was likely not intended for combat either.

The combat I described might be too "modern", but ancient combat looked just like it, and worse.  Modern recruits, like ancient recruits, tend to totally flip out when dropped into this environment ... today they are called psychological casualties.  In the ancient world, this was often ignored, leading for example to the large number of atrocities attributed to the Japanese ashigaru (peasant soldiers), much to the dismay of the samurai.  Fear can cause men to curl up and cry, or to lash out in uncontrollable rage - and if the enemy (or civilians or cows or anything else) is within arm's reach, the option of rage becomes a lot more attractive.

Still, any force will break down from continued pressure.  Good organization and command helps, since having someone to look to as a role model will reduce confusion somewhat, while fear is contagious.  This is also why armies stress being in peak physical condition - the more fatigued, cold, sick and hungry one becomes, the sooner their psychological condition breaks down.  (You don't really need all of those push-ups to drive a truck or fire a rifle, and upper-body strength doesn't even really help that much in a knife fight.  It's just about maintaining cardiovascular health.)  But still, nobody can keep running on fear and anger forever without it taking a toll on them.  No matter how fierce the Celts, or the Romans, or the French Foreign Legion, or the U.S. 2nd Marine Division (my brother's unit back when he was a Marine) might have been when they set out, a few days of taking far too many casualties and they will start to break down.  The commentary about the Celts was just that the Romans, and others, figured out that they could outlast them in a war of psychological attrition.  Not the smartest plan in the history of warfare, but not the worst either.


And yeah, those look to be pretty good historical and realistic models.  I like the Dacians with the falx - it's always been a favorite of mine.  (I like the Japanese nagimaki and the English "black bill" for the same reasons.  Not much ends an argument faster.)  Seems to be a lot of maille among the Celts for that early, but reliable records are sketchy so who knows?  Anyway, those should be easy enough to work with.



Edit:
Looking at those models, I thought of something ...

Did anyone else ever notice that if you translate "Gladius Hispaniensis" as "Hispanic sword", nobody has a bloody clue what you're talking about?
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Shik on October 03, 2009, 09:12:20 AM
The barbs on the M&B spear model are turned back.  Their only possible function would be to make the spear impossible to remove from a wound.  This would obviously not be a good idea, if the polearm was an infantryman's primary weapon.  The Roman pilum used this sort of thing, but it was a deliberately disposable weapon - it was either thrown or driven into an opponent's body or shield and then released, to allow the size and weight of the weapon to incapacitate the target.
Well, to be fair, that spear is the "heavy lance" item in M&B - it's apparently meant to be used by heavy cavalry.

The infantry spears in M&B look like this:
(http://i378.photobucket.com/albums/oo223/feidao_2008/th_infantry_spear-1.jpg) (http://s378.photobucket.com/albums/oo223/feidao_2008/?action=view&current=infantry_spear-1.jpg)(http://i378.photobucket.com/albums/oo223/feidao_2008/th_infantry_spear.jpg) (http://s378.photobucket.com/albums/oo223/feidao_2008/?action=view&current=infantry_spear.jpg)

Anyways Ron, are you considering doing an RCM conversion of the Warband expansion when the full version and its modulesystem are released? Most of the armor meshes have changed quite a bit, as well some weapons I think, and there's a number of new armors as well. It also appears some mechanics of the damage system have changed, but I'm not certain.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Jean Plassy on October 03, 2009, 01:56:28 PM
Quote
I cut and pasted the mod name from your previous post ... I had no idea what the official name was.  So I was just repeating your typo.

Yep I wasn't trying to correct you though  :P.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on October 03, 2009, 07:45:39 PM
Shik:
That first spear looks good enough, at least as far as geometry goes.  The metal texture looks like it was made of poorly cast pewter, but that's not the worst mistake ever.  The point is a little thick too ... but maybe that's because it's made of pewter.  Still it looks like it would weigh 12 pounds ... why is the spear point two inches thick?  About one inch on a diamond cross-section point is considered quite heavy.  Theirs looks more like the description of the weapon carried by Goliath of Gath:  "...and the shaft of his spear was the size of a weaver's beam (i.e. two inches plus in diameter, and 12 feet long), and it was tipped in an iron head weighing 9 pounds..." (loosely translated).  Unless you're 9 foot 6 and weigh 400 pounds yourself, you're not going to be using that one.

The second one - I'm not sure what those ears are about.  If they were a little larger and sharpened, then they could be used to hook and slash (like the Japanese kama-yari).  If they were intended to prevent over-penetration, like the cross-bar on a boar spear, then they are too small and too close to the point - the cut path of the tip is wider and they would likely pass through the same hole.  The way it is, they seem to be a waste of metal, and just something else to get tangled up during combat.  And still the spear point is two inches thick and would weigh several pounds.

Now, in fantasy-based mods and non-historical settings, I can see making the spear points as dramatic as possible.  The ones I did for fantasy mods would be at the extreme end of usable weight, just to make them look frightening at a distance.  But double that weight is not acceptable even in fiction.  At that point they quit looking scary, and start looking like an over-sized hood ornament.

Either way, they waste a lot of triangles on a lot of things that do not make the weapon look better in-game.  You can build a point that looks just as good in the game for about 20 triangles, instead of 200.  Better, if you can find a texture that looks like steel instead of cast lead.  That waste of graphics capacity is much less forgivable than the spear looking stupid.

I mean, even among volunteer modders there is more professionalism than that.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Jean Plassy on October 03, 2009, 09:46:47 PM
...

The rule of thumb for most "recent" games is that modders always do a better job of the "upper" softcoded layer of a game than any developer. That they can't do it to a game completely is due to the fact it is illegal.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Shik on October 04, 2009, 02:36:39 PM
Quote
Better, if you can find a texture that looks like steel instead of cast lead.
Well, the texture becomes significantly more steel-like and shiny once the in game shaders are applied to it.

Anyways - extremely minor update - fixed some civilian tags that I missed - no more topless lords this time, I think:
http://www.mbrepository.com/file.php?id=1212 (http://www.mbrepository.com/file.php?id=1212)
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: wolfstriked on October 04, 2009, 05:39:22 PM
I am almost done with a mod I am making that uses RCM.I have done over all the armors in native to use seperate pieces per faction.Then I added in alot of nice helmets and alot of textures from Knights Mod by couched.Redid the whole music system and I think its actually amazing if I can blow my own horn.

I had to change alot of weapons in native so that the top tier groups actually are worthy of their title.Alot of them were carrying swords and the game archers carrying maces and picks.RCM isn't kind to slashing weapons so that had to be done.Now I find that the Swadian Knights actually suck.They don't couch as much as they should and so they are thrusting with lances and its taking them way to many hits to take down even low level groups.

So Ron I ask you what do you think of me adding in WP_polearms and making it 180 compared to their default WP_130 across the board.I don't want to mess with the RCM stats so this seems to me the only way to go at it.I did notice you have awlpikes set at pierce damage though.They now seem like they are working properly but balancing is a super hard thing to do.Is there a way to have armies of one faction to battle armies of others to test the game balance?

Also I am thinking of taking all the WP of each archer troop and increasing by 1.5 times.It seems wrong that they only become accurate when the troops are in melee charge distance.But this might ruin gameplay since the AI doesn't duck for cover and whatnot. :(
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on October 04, 2009, 08:00:39 PM
I can't exactly follow what you are saying about the lances.  Give me the complete line in Python, the original and what you intend to change it to ... and I'll try to figure out what's going on.

An awlpike is a piercing weapon, by definition.  An actual awlpike does not have a spear head - it is a round, square, or triangular cross-section spike.  It was designed to punch a hole in armor, but does much less damage overall - hence pierce damage, but at a somewhat lower number.  Native doesn't really have a graphic for it.  Actual combat performance will not be much different from more conventional spear heads, with only a slight advantage against medium armor, and a slight disadvantage against lighter armors.

I suspect your balance problems are more balance problems than damage model problems.  Consider that, at the point in history where the field plate armors really appeared, most knights (foot and mounted) had gone to pole-hammers of various designs.  (The famous French charge at Agincourt - they were not, for the most part, armed with simple lances.  Standard armament was the bec-de-corbin.)  Sidearms evolved into anti-armor weapons - in every painting of him, Jan Ziska (the great general of the Hussite Rebellion - an absolutely brilliant warrior and a great scholar) is pictured with a military hammer, not a sword.  I suspect that your balance problems stem from the fact that M&B Native has thrown together weapons and troop loadouts from 12 different centuries, and so the intermix between them is unnatural, to say the least.  It pits perfectly normal weapons for dealing with light armor - swords and spears - against armor that would require very specialized equipment to defeat, and then the AI does not understand this.  Try re-arming the troops first.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: hayate666 on October 05, 2009, 01:31:20 AM
Excellent points from both sides about spear combat and epic poets. It makes for a really interesting read. I'll add my two cents:

About the gladius hispaniensis:

It's one of the best know Latin words when referring to the Romans and specifically to the army, while most people don't even know what it means when you translate it. That probably goes for most of the other equipment or terminology they used. Most people don'tl know what use a signum had or where they used a scutum for, nor what Romans were talking about when they referred to the muli mariani (Marius' mules).

About "poetic liberty":

Homer isn't even the greatest offender of depicting unrealistic warfare. At least with him even the ancients knew that it was meant to be a fairy tale.

Let me show you the OFFICIAL account of Ramses II when he lost the battle of Khadesh. Ramses made every military blunder there was in the book and some that weren't even in the book, such as spreading military divisions thin over 15 kilometers, not sending out scouts, allowing himself to be attacked in the back and probably some other stuff I'm forgetting. When the battle was over, Ramses had to retreat and Khadesh was still under Hittite control. Look at what he wrote about the battle himself:

   Lo, while his majesty sat talking with the princes, the vanquished chief of Kheta came, and the numerous countries, which were with him. They crossed over the channel on the south of Kadesh, and charged into the army of his majesty while they were marching, and not expecting it. Then the infantry and chariotry of his majesty retreated before them, northward to the place where his majesty was. Lo, the foes of the vanquished chief of Kheta surrounded the bodyguard of his majesty, who were by his side.

    When his majesty saw them, he was enraged against them, like his father, Montu, lord of Thebes. He seized the adornments of battle, and arrayed himself in his coat of mail. He was like Baal in his hour. Then he betook himself to his horses, and led quickly on, being alone by himself. He charged into the foes of the vanquished chief of Kheta, and the numerous countries which were with him. His majesty was like Sutekh, the great in strength, smiting and slaying among them; his majesty hurled them headlong, one upon another into the water of the Orontes.

    "I charged all countries, while I was alone, my infantry and my chariotry having forsaken me. Not one among them stood to turn about. I swear, as Re loves me, as my father, Atum, favors me, that, as for every matter which his majesty has stated, I did it in truth, in the presence of my infantry and my chariotry."


Short version: The Hittites pissed me off, so I beat them all with my eyes closed and my bare hands tied behind my back. Also I didn't lose.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on October 05, 2009, 05:02:57 AM
And of course everyone knew that Ramses' account of himself was a fairy tale as well ... especially the army, who were there (and came home all wounded and beat up).  But the army wasn't going to say anything - because "our leader is a nitwit" doesn't make you look too bright either.  I love that account ... I made reference to it earlier, in the comment that this has been literary convention since then.

Same with Homer ... everybody knew that it was inaccurate, especially the army (who, even though they were not really in the same time frame, still understood how those tactics were really employed) ... but it was supposed to be tripe about nationalistic and cultural superiority, and nobody wanted to be the one to look like they were opposing that.

The really scary part is today, when writers and film-makers do the same thing, but a fair number of people completely fail to realize that it is the world of make-believe.  I've even heard of supposedly modern military units training to shoot from the hip, because that's the way they do it in Hollywood.  (Granted, Fairbairn encouraged that sort of thing for point-blank-range encounters, but he was talking about a very different situation - a world where many were caught trying to take careful aim at someone standing less than arm's reach away ... taking that out of context could get you killed.)  Worse are the "martial arts", where sensationalistic drivel designed for kata demonstrations and acting keep getting mixed into the "traditional" category, until few can tell what was originally effective (and precisely what it was effective at accomplishing) and what was even more absurd than that story that Ramses told.  I really doubt that the ancient world had THIS much trouble, somehow.

This effect might be made worse due to a greatly lessened professional military class.  Turn-over rates in modern armies are so high these days that, often as not, the guys teaching combat skills have little experience themselves.  (No, three years of standing guard at the motor pool does NOT make you an expert in hand-to-hand combat, even if superior physical condition gave you the upper hand in 12 bar brawls.  It just makes you lucky that nobody ever really tried to knife you.)  This greatly reduces the volume of experience that gets passed down - soldiers who get officers or NCO's with any real experience are deemed to be quite lucky.  Add to that the reduced impact of personal infantry combat (many military and paramilitary groups have little or no close-quarters training, because it's just not part of their job), in favor of technical and logistical skills.  While I'm not suggesting that the Air Force should train all of their mechanics and accountants as commandos, I am saying that even the people with "military experience" often no longer have the kind of experience it takes to differentiate between actual deadly violence and the kind of sport, posturing, fantasy, or otherwise unrealistic nonsense floating around.

Then when somebody presents a ridiculous theory - be it about jump-flying kicks, or the use of thrusting blades to penetrate armor, or how effective a particular ancient weapon might be, or whatever urban myth goes around this week - there are few (sometimes nobody) who have any way to even think about it critically.  I mean, OK, so they were in the Army - maybe even in a war - but the only thing they ever hit with a bayonet was a target dummy, and then only a couple of times ... how should they know if a spear works?  And finding anybody who does have a few bayonet kills to ask ... that could prove harder than it sounds. 

I mean, I've seen accounts by Japanese combat instructors from WW2, who told about how inadequate their allegedly "traditional" sword, knife, and spear (for bayonet) was.  The better of them were able to modify the style, or figure out what the original technique and intent of a procedure was, and so get something they could use.  But even as early as the 1930's, sport Judo and Kendo had effectively gutted close-quarters technique in Japan, to the point that the army could not fight under those conditions.  That's a pretty extreme example.  The rule of the samurai was replaced in 1876, and by 1930 almost every effective military tradition had been replaced by drivel drawn from sport and popular culture.  (The lethality of the weapons themselves somewhat covered this - in the absence of body armor, of which there was little in WW2, a completely untrained man with a knife is still deadly, as crime rates often show.)  So the problem is not modern media - film and radio were new and most other modern media outlets yet to be developed at that time.  It had to be part of the breakdown of traditional training methods and culture of passing down that knowledge through family.

It's an interesting question.  Did the ancient world have less trouble differentiating entertainment and propaganda from reality?  Someone could surely make a doctoral dissertation out of that.  They should ... I would read it.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: hayate666 on October 05, 2009, 07:06:50 AM
I wouldn't be too sure that everyone knew. The first time I read about this was when I was doing a paper on ancient Egypt and the guy who wrote the book argued that it could have been real because Ramses entered some kind of berserker state which scared the enemies away and gave him enough leverage to negotiate a peace treaty. That writer probably put too much thought into the matter  :green:

Speaking of thinking too much about it: Sport fighting has the nasty side effect that your opponent doesn't want you dead, so you've got time to invent plenty of insane rules and procedures. Case in point: this guy. I've been wanting to show you this Ron, but since we're already speaking of ridiculous combat theories I'll share this here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4eAvKl3H48 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4eAvKl3H48)

This guy absolutely pisses me off to no end. The smug way he's preaching about dealing with knives combined with the utter ridiculousness of the woman who is "attacking" with said knife is unbelievable. It has to be seen to be fully appreciated in all its god awful glory. He does a bit about gun defence as well, if this isn't annoying enough yet.

The ancients would no doubt have little trouble with seeing the difference between entertainment and real business I think. Just remember that most, if not all armies of the ancient (European) world consisted of urban militias that required every able male citizen to join in the war effort when they were needed, except for the peoples that were rich enough to hire mostly mercenaries.  Not just the Romans did this, but also the Greeks, Carthaginians (although they used a lot of Iberians in their armies) and the Celts. Rich and/or experienced people would function as heavy infantry like the hoplite or triarius, while poorer people would be used as the first line, skirmishers, archers and/or scouts, depending on the culture you're looking at. Citizens were required to be proficient with using weapons and the amount of skill that was expected increased with the wealth of the citizen, since the ancients figured they had a lot more to fight for.

Sparta pushed this the farthest, with every male citizen being required to train since birth for the army and captured slaves being required to manage daily business at home. Children were taught in the harshest way possible, with having to steal food and kill slaves to survive at some point in their lives. Stealing and murder weren't punishable, but getting caught was.

Rome was the first to use professional armies, but they were so large that a lot of the populace must have seen combat at least once in their lifetimes. Pursuing a successful political career was impossible without having served in the army, so even rich people had to have seen plenty of combat. Time of service in professional armies was at least 20 years, but could be increased to 30 if you were willing, so there must have been plenty of experienced instructors to set their recruits straight.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on October 05, 2009, 10:23:38 AM
Yeah ... that author was as crazy as Ramses himself.  Somehow I doubt the Hittites would have been impressed by rage - that was something they excelled at, themselves.  Plus, as far as I know, there was no formally negotiated treaty after that fight ... the Egyptians withdrew and the Hittites bade them "good riddance".  The only type of formal treaties in use at the time were what was known as a suzerainty treaty, and that only applied if one side actually agreed to serve the other or pay tribute as a subjugated state.  Peace was just defined as any time that nobody was actually marching against you.  And in that case, the Hittites were in no position to march all the way to Egypt, so there was peace by distance.

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

I can't get youtube to work at the moment.  It's intermittent in China.  (Some people think it's some grand government conspiracy ... personally, I've observed too much of the way it sometimes works and sometimes does not, and I'm pretty sure it traces back to technical incompetence somewhere.)  I'll try to watch it next time YouTube is working.

Anyway, I've seen a lot of those types.  Let me guess.  The "opponent" leads with the knife like they watched too many Olympic fencing matches, and then freezes at the point of greatest over-extension, so that Captain Karate can kung-fu him into submission.  While the really badly planned attack does exist - drunks who watch too many movies will sometimes make such mistakes - the reality is that pretty much anybody could beat that with no training whatsoever, and no training whatsoever would probably be a lot more efficient than what that clown is teaching.  That pretty close to what the video shows?

Of course, any street person (with no formal training at all) knows a lot more than that about how to use a knife, and certain ethnic groups known to form criminal gangs (i.e. Gypsies, Xinjiang Uighur, and Illegal Mexican immigrants in the U.S. and Canada, and there are probably a fair number of others) are just plain good with a blade.  Crossing those kind of people will get you killed a fair percentage of the time, even if you're tough, quick, and have seen combat before.  Soldiers tend to be better than average as far as skill and training, but often as not they let their aggression and attitude get in the way of their survival, so often as not they prove easier to cut down than hardened backwater hillbilly-types, who tend to be a lot more survival-conscious.  Still, any of the above would make short work out of Captain Karate and his smug uber-technique for dealing with knives.

You really want a good laugh on that?  Watch some of the drivel going around under the name "Krav Magna".  The term is Hebrew, and translates like "unarmed combat" ... it's the stuff that the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) has been teaching.  Just watered-down run-of-the-mill hand-to-hand stuff, for the most part... more useful in a brawl than a war.  (You can get a LOT better combat training out of a USMC field manual on the subject - and their technique is NOT what I would call brilliant.)  But what is so funny is the way it is being marketed as some kind of uber-effective secret military art.  You watch the way they train to deal with guns and knives, and the first thought that comes to mind is:  "This would never work on anyone who knew what he was doing with a knife, nor on any gunman who actually had the will to pull the trigger."  Honestly, I'm not sure it would work on a drunken monkey with a butter knife, but I haven't been able to spike the monkey's water well enough to test that theory.  Still, the internet and every "martial arts" rag in publication is full of this trash.  It would be hysterical, if it wasn't going to get a lot of people killed.

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

Seriously, the military recruitment thing may or may not have caused the effect you describe.  I know quite a few people who spent time in various military branches in various countries, and the number of them who came out of it with competence in any combat skill is not as high as you might think.  A lot of guys who were infantry in VietNam (both the U.S. excursions there and China's couple of wars with Vietnam since then) can't shoot for crud, and many of them came away thinking they were really tough because they had been in combat and survived.  (This may be true, but I'm pretty sure they didn't personally do any damage to their enemy either.)  My brother told about the U.S. Navy sniper on the ship he was on ... an 18-year-old girl who admitted she couldn't hit the side of an aircraft carrier with that rifle, and probably couldn't bring herself to pull the trigger if she did have an easy shot.  (My brother told her that, if the stuff really hit the fan, he was going to trade weapons with her - she had an M1 Garand with a 10x scope... absolutely lethal out to 1000 yards.  He had a stupid M16... a weapon barely adequate for controlling prairie dogs.)  Less than half of the U.S. Marines that went into the invasion of Iraq actually earned combat action pins.  A lot of street cops have worked tough beats and served felony warrants every day for decades, and never had to fire a round at anybody.  Spending time in military or paramilitary groups is not the same as spending time actually hurting people, and especially not hurting people who were themselves dangerous.

I strongly suspect that many ancient armies suffered from the same - large numbers of recruits who lacked either the skills or the mental conditioning to kill their enemy.  Sure they marched a lot and trained like an army, but most of them probably never actually engaged a hostile target.  (If they had, the casualty counts from many ancient wars would have been MUCH higher than they were.  It's statistically unavoidable.)  So assuming that they knew what worked and what did not might be jumping to conclusions.  While it's a safe bet that the ones who actually were present during battles learned a few things from watching, it is still highly possible that they still suffered from some serious misconceptions.  If they did not, it was because of experienced people sitting down with them and teaching them the basics ... not because of their extensive personal experience (which mostly consisted of hauling luggage and putting up tents).

Chuck Yeager (ace fighter pilot in three wars as well as famous test pilot) described an air combat mission as "four hours of utter boredom interrupted by three minutes of sheer terror".  Tragically, there is little in the way of accepted standards on deciding how much of that counts as combat experience.  Someone could amass hundreds of combat flight hours and still have very little actual experience in the "three minutes of sheer terror" part.  Ancient combat was slower - it could be months of marching and camping to get ready for that three minutes of terror.  And if you were on the right and the enemy hit the left flank, the three minutes of terror could miss you completely.  So much for amassing vast experience.

Even warriors trained from birth sometimes never got to use the skill.  In "Hagakure", Yamamoto Tsunetomo described how he thought more samurai should volunteer for execution duty, just so they would really know what it feels like to kill.  And he was talking about the samurai - the most feared warriors in history.  They trained as hard as anything ever dreamed up in Sparta.  If that was a problem in that period in Japan, then it's a very safe bet that it was a bigger problem elsewhere.

As I said, it would make a good doctoral dissertation.  One can draw a lot of good arguments either way, taken from extremely well-known and respected primary-source texts.  I suspect that the final conclusion would come out something like "they probably had fewer problems with this sort of thing than now, but not by as much as you might think."  If I was working on a Ph.D. in psychology, I would jump on that thought immediately.  It's good material.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: wolfstriked on October 05, 2009, 11:15:49 AM
I can't exactly follow what you are saying about the lances.  Give me the complete line in Python, the original and what you intend to change it to ... and I'll try to figure out what's going on.

An awlpike is a piercing weapon, by definition.  An actual awlpike does not have a spear head - it is a round, square, or triangular cross-section spike.  It was designed to punch a hole in armor, but does much less damage overall - hence pierce damage, but at a somewhat lower number.  Native doesn't really have a graphic for it.  Actual combat performance will not be much different from more conventional spear heads, with only a slight advantage against medium armor, and a slight disadvantage against lighter armors.

I suspect your balance problems are more balance problems than damage model problems.  Consider that, at the point in history where the field plate armors really appeared, most knights (foot and mounted) had gone to pole-hammers of various designs.  (The famous French charge at Agincourt - they were not, for the most part, armed with simple lances.  Standard armament was the bec-de-corbin.)  Sidearms evolved into anti-armor weapons - in every painting of him, Jan Ziska (the great general of the Hussite Rebellion - an absolutely brilliant warrior and a great scholar) is pictured with a military hammer, not a sword.  I suspect that your balance problems stem from the fact that M&B Native has thrown together weapons and troop loadouts from 12 different centuries, and so the intermix between them is unnatural, to say the least.  It pits perfectly normal weapons for dealing with light armor - swords and spears - against armor that would require very specialized equipment to defeat, and then the AI does not understand this.  Try re-arming the troops first.


I agree with what your saying about weapons and armor that was from different times and on the wrong troops.Archers with anti-armor hammers and knights with swords and sometimes short swords at that.I have gone thru and changed out alot of the weapons that I felt was wrong.Still just tweaking here and there since everytime I play I find something else to change.

Here is what I started with and what I changed to for Swadian knights.

"swadian_knight","Swadian Knight","Swadian Knights",tf_mounted|tf_guarantee_boots|tf_guarantee_armor|tf_guarantee_gloves|tf_guarantee_helmet|tf_guarantee_horse|tf_guarantee_shield,0,0,fac_neutral,
   [itm_heavy_lance,itm_bastard_sword_b,itm_morningstar,itm_sword_medieval_c,itm_tab_shield_heater_cav_b,
    itm_coat_of_plates,itm_cuir_bouilli,itm_mail_with_surcoat,itm_mail_chausses,itm_iron_greaves,itm_guard_helmet,itm_great_helmet,itm_bascinet,itm_hunter,itm_warhorse,itm_leather_gloves,itm_mail_mittens],
   def_attrib|level(25),wp_melee(130),knows_common|knows_riding_5|knows_shield_3|knows_ironflesh_4|knows_power_strike_5,swadian_face_middle_1, swadian_face_older_2],



"swadian_knight","Swadian Knight","Swadian Knights",tf_mounted|tf_guarantee_boots|tf_guarantee_armor|tf_guarantee_gloves|tf_guarantee_helmet|tf_guarantee_horse|tf_guarantee_shield,0,0,fac_neutral,
   [itm_heavy_lance,itm_morningstar,itm_sword_medieval_c,itm_tab_shield_heater_cav_b,
    itm_ssurcoat_a,itm_mail_chausses,itm_iron_greaves,itm_yh_great_a,itm_yh_great_b,itm_yh_great_c,itm_shorse_a,itm_shorse_c,itm_leather_gloves,
    itm_mail_mittens],
   def_attrib|level(25),wp_melee(130)|wp_polearm(180),knows_common|knows_riding_5|knows_shield_3|knows_ironflesh_4|knows_power_strike_5,swadian_face_middle_1, swadian_face_older_2],

I added in the |wp_polearm(180) since they seemed to be doing circles and thrusting at enemies w/occasional couching when spotting new enemies.One handed thrust are already reduced dmg wise and with lances doing cut damage its even worse.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on October 05, 2009, 03:38:02 PM
Oh, OK, I see what you mean.  Yeah, that wasn't part of the RCM data anyway.  I never even looked at it.  But it certainly makes sense that somebody called a "knight" would be an expert with their preferred weapons.

This sort of thing is exactly why I keep repeating my disclaimer that the RCM-Native package was never intended to be playable.

Did the higher skill setting actually make them more efficient?  Or do they still stop the horse and try to duel?  It might be that ride skill is what they need, more than weapon skill.  (Not sure - just throwing that idea out in case you hadn't thought of it.)
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Jean Plassy on October 05, 2009, 03:50:46 PM
Ron,

I understand why the Japanese Field Army felt that most popular sports employed were useless in actual combat. That's actually very true, and I've read models of philosophy of history which postulate that "Combat sport" - as opposed to "Effective" combat - is an exclusively urban, "sportive" phenomena, designed around primarily on "nerve-excitement" and amusement as opposed to a more practical, down to earth application born out of necessity. To sum it up, it has as much an aureola of "useful self-defense" as any respected and true martial art that is useful in combat, but it becomes embroiled with a certain notion of entertainment and expenditure of energy enough to detach its usefulness entirely from actual combat, and more into a flashy thing centered more upon visual and sensorial effect.

True armed combat is not designed to be "flashy", it is centered upon victory with the maximum economy of force and vulnerability as possible. Some combat techniques, like swinging your katana around, might appear flashy, but that's not their primary intent. Perhaps the best example of this dichotomy is found in Ancient Rome, between Gladiator, and Legionary combat. Gladiator combat had all that riddle with tridents, and nets, and ceremonial armour that were fit for an arena, while Legionary combat employed plain weapons and armour with the predominant technique for the Legionary, experienced or not, being to duck behind his shield in a lower and protected position so that he would be more difficult to knock down and be less exposed, while simultaneously focusing upon quick thrusts with their swords from behind their shields. It's not exactly Hollywood material, being a quite "timid" form of combat (despite its proved effectiveness), so that's one of the reasons why Roman combat is misunderstood by mass media outlets until our days, and indeed, by most outside the few academic and reenactment circles that bother to research this aspect.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on October 06, 2009, 12:08:12 AM
Yeah, exactly.  Combat from behind shields, be it Roman or Greek or whatever, is not running around performing dramatic moves like Homer depicted.  It is like modern riot police tactics - close-quarters and bloody, characterized by hiding behind your shield line and chewing up anything that gets too close.  The weapons don't have to be immediately debilitating, as long as they keep the enemy off your shields... the mass impact of anything that approaches being wounded will produce that meat-grinder effect.  Efficient, but psychologically traumatizing and not known for producing great "heroics".

And even the academic and re-enactment groups tend to miss this point.  Re-enactors, especially, tend to be too brave ... if they get hit, they're still losing a game ... they don't have to spend the next 9 hours in surgery, trying to hold their guts inside their body and hoping they live until morning.  They don't spend weeks drilling as a group, knowing that their lives depend on the guy next to them.  Soldiers, ancient or modern, are painfully aware of this point - not only their lives, but the lives of their families back home, depend on whether or not that shield line holds.  Suddenly the desire to be a hero just evaporates - the only thing that matters is if that line holds.

You really want to see this point come home, talk to riot police ... they've had some experience at doing this, where the blades were real.  The impact of hiding behind that shield becomes a lot more personal when failing to do so means you will be carrying home some of your body parts in a plastic bag.  Or that you have some cover while you stop to puke, which you will certainly do when you look down and realize you are standing on pulverized bodies piled two deep, or when somebody announces they intend to stop to find your buddy's head (currently missing).  That perception of relative cover behind the shield line (or trench, or whatever you are using for cover at the moment) is a lot more mentally powerful than most would suppose.  That's where psychology meets tactics - and I would dare say that the vast majority of academic study doesn't fully understand the impact of such.  They don't understand it, not for lack of trying, but because they don't really understand the horror of being there in the first place.

As I said, this whole line of thinking would be good material for several different doctoral dissertations.  (I teach college - I tend to think of this sort of thing.)
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Jean Plassy on October 06, 2009, 01:08:55 PM
Heh, I get - Academia are not worth it  ::).
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: wolfstriked on October 06, 2009, 03:05:55 PM
Oh, OK, I see what you mean.  Yeah, that wasn't part of the RCM data anyway.  I never even looked at it.  But it certainly makes sense that somebody called a "knight" would be an expert with their preferred weapons.

This sort of thing is exactly why I keep repeating my disclaimer that the Ruminative package was never intended to be playable.

Did the higher skill setting actually make them more efficient?  Or do they still stop the horse and try to duel?  It might be that ride skill is what they need, more than weapon skill.  (Not sure - just throwing that idea out in case you hadn't thought of it.)

Reading where you wrote that RCM needs work to be playable was what started me tweaking what troops carry.Yes the higher skill setting does the trick but not realistically.It makes them more deadly at thrusting which they do alot of instead of couching.Its a way to go around M&B's AI deficiencies.I believe riding skill just governs horse speed and maneuverability.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on October 06, 2009, 08:23:58 PM
Riding skill does modify horse speed and maneuverability.  However, the acceleration of the horse somewhat factors into the couch lance calculation (specifically how long it takes from start of motion until sufficient speed to make that type of attack).  Also horse speed affects the charge value, so if the horse is moving faster, it is less likely to just stop.  Since the AI seems to have trouble getting the horse going again once it has stopped, this could have a bigger impact than you might think.

And yeah, the skill increase doesn't really react like a skill increase.  In M&B, "skill" seems to translate into efficiency of strike, in the sense of increasing speed and damage, more than as a change to skill as would be reflected in better timing and accuracy.  So there are certainly logical problems there... if they use their weapons badly, increasing skill will cause them to use their weapons badly much faster and harder.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: wolfstriked on October 07, 2009, 03:36:26 PM
Riding skill does modify horse speed and maneuverability.  However, the acceleration of the horse somewhat factors into the couch lance calculation (specifically how long it takes from start of motion until sufficient speed to make that type of attack).  Also horse speed affects the charge value, so if the horse is moving faster, it is less likely to just stop.  Since the AI seems to have trouble getting the horse going again once it has stopped, this could have a bigger impact than you might think.

And yeah, the skill increase doesn't really react like a skill increase.  In M&B, "skill" seems to translate into efficiency of strike, in the sense of increasing speed and damage, more than as a change to skill as would be reflected in better timing and accuracy.  So there are certainly logical problems there... if they use their weapons badly, increasing skill will cause them to use their weapons badly much faster and harder.

True that less chance of stopping helps and could make them couch more....i'll have to test it out.Can't wait for AI that couches in open terrain,troops that hide around terrain while cavalry is attacking them and then cavalry adapting and then thrusting at low speeds.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: mfhberg on November 04, 2009, 03:00:20 PM
Sorry for this non-consequential post.

Quote
The barbs on the M&B spear model are turned back.  Their only possible function would be to make the spear impossible to remove from a wound.  This would obviously not be a good idea, if the polearm was an infantryman's primary weapon.  The Roman pilum used this sort of thing, but it was a deliberately disposable weapon - it was either thrown or driven into an opponent's body or shield and then released, to allow the size and weight of the weapon to incapacitate the target.  The pictured weapon was clearly not designed with that concept in mind, so the barbs are, in a word, incorrect.  The design was planned to look scary, not to actually work.

The barbs may have been used to hook and move shields, and yank on an opponents armor, like the small hooks on some polearms, but it looks more like an oversized fishing spear/harpoon to me.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on November 04, 2009, 07:13:49 PM
If they were intentional weaponized additions, they were poorly designed.  The polearms designed to actually hook something (from many parts of the world) all had a few things in common - first the hook was big enough to give a reasonable chance at actually snagging something, and second the hook was designed in such a way that it would not enter the spear wound and hang (as barbs on a harpoon do, and are intended to do).  The outcroppings on the M&B native spears fail on both counts.

They are, as mentioned, apparently modeled on a harpoon.  Fine for a whaler, but a lousy choice for an infantry weapon.

Stuff like this makes it hard to get a sense of realism out of the game.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: animematt on December 19, 2009, 10:43:41 PM
I am a bit lost. I think I downloaded the wrong file as I get an error when I load the game "get_object failed for: bo_snowy_pine_2"

I will continue looking through the thread. But there seem to be so many links and updates, I dont know where to start

Got it to work. Is this compatible with other mods at all? I want to try a formation mod
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on December 19, 2009, 11:53:20 PM
I don't even know which download you got.  No, it is not, in its current form, functional with any other mod that modifies the item list at all.  This package was purely intended as a resource for modders wishing to incorporate the RCM into their own projects.  It is not really "playable" in current form.

It sounds like you tried to add it over some other mod.  No chance that will work.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: animematt on December 20, 2009, 01:56:57 PM
I don't even know which download you got.  No, it is not, in its current form, functional with any other mod that modifies the item list at all.  This package was purely intended as a resource for modders wishing to incorporate the RCM into their own projects.  It is not really "playable" in current form.

It sounds like you tried to add it over some other mod.  No chance that will work.
I accidentally downloaded the one for a different version. I am reading through the forum bit by bit to see what exactly this does as well. I havent even played vanilla in a while, so I cant really tell what is different
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Nameless One on January 13, 2010, 09:15:47 AM
Is there any list of what RCM really does to item stats? I know it makes the combat more realistic, but how do it do that?
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: mfhberg on January 14, 2010, 02:30:36 PM
RCM makes a clear difference between poorly armored people and well armored people. It also takes a more realistic look at weapon damage and some at weapon speed (lack of a fatigue bar makes that a bit tough). To see what it does to item stats you can download the version for native and compare it with the native stats.

mfberg
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Duuvian on March 01, 2010, 10:13:40 AM
Ron,

I noticed Warband has been released. Now, I haven't spent too much time reading up on the capabilities of Warband to handle mods, in fact I don't even know what the version number is. I was simply wondering what the latest release of the RCM for Native is, since I plan on playing some M&B in the near future and would like to apply your excellent changes. The latest version I found on the repository was for M&B version 1.010/1.011.

Also, are there any mods for the latest version with RCM included?

Thanks for your time Ron, and anyone else who replies.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on March 06, 2010, 09:32:48 PM
Haven't had a chance to even look at "warband" native.  Things have been a little more hectic than normal.

However, I would think that an RCM conversion should be an eventual goal there, certainly.

Somebody was telling me that quite a bit of the game computation model had been changed, so it may be a little more complicated than just porting them over.  That is, of course, NOT good news ... and if it's as screwed up as the last set of changes (.890 and following), it could be a major project to fix.  We'll see.

If anybody wants to start collecting data for that, have at it ....  I certainly have no problem with somebody else doing part or all of the conversion.

As for other mods using it, as I said, I've not really had a chance to keep up with that sort of thing lately.  Sorry about that, but I got the job of school photography adviser dumped in my lap recently (on top of some classes and other assorted college-sounding projects), so I spend much of my time running in circles these days (and telling the guy with the camera that he's an idiot... there's a lot of that).  Hopefully I'll get more time to put into M&B mods, but likely not this week.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Jean Plassy on March 18, 2010, 10:45:20 PM
... you should look at the fk they added, "Great Long Axes", "Great Long Bardiches". Don't know if such thing ever would make it to a real battlefield because they are more like your telefone pole than a real weapon. You should see their native stats: 90 speed for "Great Long Axe" and a pathetic "Unbalanced" tab slapped into the thing. Result: a couple of wild mouse swings and hectic clicking, and these things have the reach of a pike with the speed of a shortsword  :lol:.


It's seriously screwed up. So much they had to add up another screwed up feature, "Melee Friendly Fire" to compensate for the "LOL, AXE SPAM" that MP battles degenerated into.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on March 19, 2010, 01:17:05 AM
That's about what I would have figured.

Although, for historical reference, there were some gigantic weapons that actually did see use.  Of course, "unbalanced" doesn't even start to describe them.  But even then, the Dane axe was like four to six feet of handle and a really scary-looking head, and those are the base model for the European battle axe.  Halberds grew to over 17 feet long... That would be like an M&B reach stat of around 400, even including some extra handle space.  It's astounding some of the things that people actually tried to carry and use, and even more astounding that some of them actually worked.

But anyway ... mental note ... it's a mess.  When I get about a year of free time, I'll take a look.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Jean Plassy on March 19, 2010, 11:42:02 AM
Yep, but then, nobody goes on whirling a halberd around widly. These big weapons, pikes and all, were more like formation weapons designed to be scary and to kill in a fairly stationary position versus what you can perform with a katana. M&B however, has given them the privilege of being katana-like irregardless of the weight considerations.

Some chap in the Talewords fora told that the part of the pole just "holding" the axe blade was extremely heavy and bulky, screwing up the weight distribution of the weapon and making it very hard and long to regain the momentum to swing it. Cannot attest to that except that the new "Unbalanced" tag doesn't work as expected.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on March 19, 2010, 06:25:12 PM
Yeah, roger that...

Built a 12 foot halberd once.  (Well, the blade looked more like volge than halberd, really, but we built it out of scrap iron just to test weight and balance, so it wasn't intended to be a work of art.)  It wasn't as hard to handle as one might think (considering it was awfully heavy), but by M&B numbers, the speed would be about 20.  You really had to plan ahead to figure out where the heavy thing was going to be one full second in advance.  Vicious weapon, though.  Would be really frightening to be on the other end of it, no matter how you were armed or armored.  We were thinking halberds might be effective in modern riot control (particularly in urban conditions, where gunfire can have undesirable side-effects), but the rather extreme lethality and lack of a free shield hand made that a less than ideal plan.  (Short swords with modern bullet-proof riot shields, using Roman legion tactics, actually came out the best in that scenario, if anyone was wondering.  MUCH more effective than the normal riot batons, since you don't need a long swing to make a blade effective.  Also blades draw more blood than impact weapons, making them psychologically more effective at breaking resistance... a broken arm doesn't look that bad at a distance, but one cup full of blood splattered across a street looks like the first 20 guys marched into an airplane propeller.)

Anyway, I can say for certain that long polearms are a real challenge to control, and even if you're strong enough to deal with them, they are surely not fast.  In fact, it feels like they're moving in slow motion.  I think somebody on the M&B crew watches too many cartoons.

Still, I really don't have time to look at it right now.  But again, if somebody wants to collect data on changes to the system and/or start a conversion, I'll do what I can.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Jean Plassy on March 30, 2010, 12:04:57 PM
Hi Ron,

I'm dl'ing the release version of Warband and I may help with that in the future. In fact I might port it entirely, based on the last 1.011 RCM build, then let you check it out once you get the expansion.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: sdog on April 03, 2010, 12:23:52 PM
ciao ron,

i've tested warband a bit, and i got the first bad news regarding RCM. The damage type and value for bow/arrow is still attached to the bow, as in old mbx. so still no way to have different arrow types.

they got rid of the stupid polle-axe and war hammer models, and introduced more realistic looking ones. i've tried only the warhammer so far, it is similar to the one you introduced. values are quite off however. it's pierce value is ok, but it's blunt overhead swing damage is less than that of a spear! it can't be swung sideways also. in total in game it's less usefull and powerfull than a spear. this really needs someone to take care of it.

a nice new addition, some thrown weapons (axes, javelins etc) can be used as melee weapons too. the mode can be switched with a weapon mode key. the values are a bit off however. thrown they cause about twice the damage. that's something i can hardly believe.

there must be a new flag included, to prevent some weapons to be used from horseback. long pikes for example can only be used as an infantry weapon now.

now the most important part of warband is multiplyaer of course. there are always two factions fighting each other. the player can choose from one class (infantry, cavalry, ranged) and then modify the equipment. only a small selection of faction and class based weapons can be "bought". better equipment is more expensive. players get money for kills. the balance is quite ok, and it's not obviously anachronistic. so there are no plate armours vs. short sleved maille shirts.

i direct implementation of RCM would completely break the balance of the multiplayer part, if the available equipment would not be balanced accordingly. the first to kill enough to get heavy armour would be almost invincible. while the rest stay vulnerable. (maybe this is even realistic, with actual nobles who are almost untouchable on the battlefield, and many poor sods who get shredded?)
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on April 03, 2010, 06:21:27 PM
Yeah, well, the reality IS that good armor and decent weapons do give a huge advantage.  Nobility in the ancient world were noticeably harder to kill, as a result.  Same reason modern SWAT teams take as few casualties as they do.

As for thrown weapons doing more damage when thrown ... there is some of that.  You can put your weight into a throw, because you don't have to recover the weapon afterward.  In contrast, you try to jab someone with a short javelin, not only are you limited by the need to recover the weapon, but it is hardly well balanced for that sort of use.  Also, the simple act of leaving the weapon in the wound is extremely debilitating ... a point of which the Romans made excellent use with their barbed pilum, for historical reference.  Even if the wound is minor, the size and weight of the weapon protruding from your body makes it very hard to do anything but sit down and cry.

Also note that the damage calculations between melee and missile weapons do not directly correspond to each other.  Different melee attacks have different modifiers.

But no doubt the Native numbers are off both ways.

Anyway, yes I knew that the damage types and attacks with various weapons would be completely off.  That seems to be a recurring theme.  Fortunately, that's the easy part to fix.


----------
What I really need is details of the damage calculation.  If someone wants to do this:

Get a weapon of a given damage rating in one of the .90x/1.0x RCM versions, and whack target dummies with every possible attack, and write down the damage numbers.

Repeat using same character stats and same weapon damage numbers in Warband.

Compare.  If they are effectively the same, we're good to go.  If not, try to figure out what has changed.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: sdog on April 04, 2010, 11:14:34 PM
Quote
Yeah, well, the reality IS that good armor and decent weapons do give a huge advantage.  Nobility in the ancient world were noticeably harder to kill, as a result.  Same reason modern SWAT teams take as few casualties as they do.

yes, but's probably not entirely desirable for a multiplayer deathmatch. your comparison let's a certain counter terorist vs. terorist mod spring to my mind.
the balance in the multiplayer of warband isn't that bad. the better weapons and armour are still in a range that makes them desirable but not completely unbalancing. their true strength lies mostly in avoiding for most groups a perfect loadout everyone caries. (this the above mentioned game didn't)
the warband factions in multiplayer are clearly modeled after historic 13 century factions. Rhodoks clearly spanish, Saranids generic Saracens fiting the role of Nasrid and Seljuk Sultanates, Vaegir more strongly rus. Only Nords still seem to be a century or two behind, but i suppose there are enough Viking fans out there they couldn't dare to piss off. unlike vanila M&B there are no extreme anachronisms like full plate armour.

rcm would tip the balance to unplayable however, maille would be just too good and cheap. but if it can be modded, providing decent loadouts for the factions shouldn't prove too dificult.
i think in general it should be advisable to improve the lower quality armour quite a bit, and give players some better armour breaking weapons.
(pollaxe!) drawback, this could make archers probably next to useless, except if they're good and deal headshots.

ron, could you please point me to a good M&B 1.0x rcm release? i haven't tried one so far.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on April 05, 2010, 10:21:29 AM
Tragically, the only RCM versions to have made it to 1.0x are this project (the final version of which was not even mine), and the alpha of the fantasy mod project that I started but could not really generate enough interest to get rolling.  All of the major RCM mods are on hold or in early development, hampered by real life constraints of the teams.

And yes, I found also that the Warband mod system is not yet released, at least not in any public distribution.  So obviously that will have to wait until we have it.

Balance is a funny concept.  Something can be well balanced and still be ludicrous (i.e. the D&D type damage/hit point models), or can be somewhat realistic and still severely unbalanced (like a simulation of a SWAT team against street punks).  To make a playable game of a multiplayer M&B RCM mod, it would require setting up the weapon stats, and then balancing the equipment prices and availability until the game was playable.

For example, in RCM mods the arrows may not penetrate extremely heavy armor, but they do a lot more damage ... so it would balance fine if not everybody could afford armor that turned them into a walking tank.  The lighter troops would be slaughtered.  Even if a few did have extreme armor, odds are their horses would not fare as well ... see historical reference to Agincourt, where French heavy cav suddenly ended up as infantry, and things sort of went downhill from there.  The balance often comes in a roundabout way, as it often does in reality ... more of a rock-paper-scissors sort of equation than a simple A = B. 

Same with heavy weapons, or anything else ... RCM was about putting realistic limitations on people and equipment.  This tends to mean that most types of gear tend to have both uses and weaknesses.  That is very much at odds with the typical computer-game mentality that says you need a "good" weapon.  Just because something is high damage doesn't make it "good" (especially if it moves slower than a glacier, and is almost as heavy as one).  And really heavy armor is good protection, but it sure slows you down if you end up on foot - which makes you an easy missile target, and sooner or later one of them will go through the armor, or else somebody will ride by with a huge hammer and flatten you into a pie plate.  That's kind of the way it goes.

This could add to the game, or detract from it, depending on what kind of people were playing and how much thought went into their character build and tactical assessment.

Personally, I have little or no interest in the multiplayer part anyway ... but I'll try to help balance it, if and when we get that far, and if there is demand.  But first things first ... first we need the module system, and to figure out the new system changes.  Then convert the weapons data.  Then, and only then, can we worry about actually building balanced mods for such.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Jean Plassy on April 05, 2010, 04:04:36 PM
Ron,

Yeah, the "gamey" mentality is part of the whole thing. People think that the most expensive must necessarily be the best and so on.

Also, M&B Warband "is not" balanced. It has a couple of patchwork and ludicrous features like Melee FF to make up for extremely overpowered and lightning fast two handers, but that feature itself screws the balance even more and makes fighting in groups less desirable: try it, one of my favourite tactics when surrounded was to spam axe and keep turning and dodging around the weapons around me until someone team killed the other. Actually it's not rare to witness a team of three, two get tk'ed, the other gets killed by the single guy they were facing, sometimes because he was hurt a lot by his friends already.

Now take that feature off, and you'll be seeing entire packs of Glaive touting spammers swinging around widely, 'till your shield breaks and you can't block them because the swings come from multiple directions.

The truth is, if you're in for "balance" alone, then I think RCM is not very suitable for you. The reason why big guns like the M107 and the S&W .500 are not standard issue in the military is because they are bulky, complex, and the S&W .500 has enough recoil and muzzle flash to feed a power plant; big weapons lack versatility, especially for the individualized combat portrayed in M&B.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on April 05, 2010, 06:51:55 PM
As for balance ... the reason modern armies don't use the biggest guns they can find is simple - because humans don't normally resist weapons fire well enough to require such, and factors like accuracy and rate of sustainable fire come into play (not to mention weight and bulk of both weapon and ammo).  Same reason the Romans used short swords instead of huge axes (as many of their opponents did) - speed and versatility were more useful than raw damage.  And NOBODY would argue that the Roman Legions were ineffective ... they were like walking into a buzz-saw.

Computer game mentality, however, tends to miss these finer points of reality.  In games, the biggest weapon is almost always the preferred choice ... because in games, the player characters generally tend to be unrealistically hard to stop (like they've been marinating in a mixture of steroids and PCP, at minimum, or sometimes more like only kryptonite can hurt them).  If it were impossible to stop the average person with anything lighter than an RPG, then everybody would need a permit to carry a concealed RPG.  (If you can conceal an RPG, my compliments to your tailor.)

That issue was how the Realistic Combat Model got started in the first place. 

I see no reason that it couldn't be balanced for multi-player, except that it would be easy to assemble a character loadout that would prove ineffective against certain opponents for any number of reasons.  This does not represent a lack of "balance", as much as a lack of planning... but expecting the axe-spam clan to plan out their strategy might be expecting way too much.

Still, I'm relatively sure it would draw a committed following.  The very presence of this thread likely says something about that ... considering that the RCM modification started out as an experiment on ONR, and has largely spread on its own merits.

But this is still a moot point until we have the module system.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: sdog on April 05, 2010, 09:35:12 PM
balancing RCM for multiplayer is certainly possible, if loadouts will be modable. at the moment it's only a technical question, since we don't have a modkit so far.

i just wanted to draw attention to two things the necessity of doing so, and that it will take some thought, how to do it properly.

i think there are a few boundary conditions that have to be met if it should be used for MP:
-- more realistic weapon and armour values, as in old RCM
-- no unreasonable loadout combinations/offers
-- no 'killer' weapon, to make other combinations undesirable
-- give archers and cavalry a place on the battlefield (if the players are skilled)
-- provide enough balance to have players addopt it in multiplayer


MB in multiplayer is quite enjoyable. players just have so many more ideas to fight. i got surprised by clever moves everytime i played -- and i'm not talking about game kung-fu.
i think, ron, you probably considered the predictability of AI as something particulary unrealistic.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on April 05, 2010, 11:13:09 PM
The predictable nature of the AI can be unrealistic.  Then again, I find humans to be pretty predictable too, but in very different ways.  Not specifically in reference to multiplayer games - humans in reality tend to repeat the same stupid mistakes.  They try to reach beyond the point where they are well balanced (some much more than others) and otherwise generally forget to take physics into account, they get tunnel vision focusing on the weapon and forget about the empty hand (theirs or the opponent's), they forget to check their peripheral vision (which is usually how cops get knifed while trying to detain somebody - just under the armpit from the side, before they even knew a knife was involved), and most obviously, they tend to underestimate their opponents.  And that list doesn't include all the multiple-person screw-ups that make seemingly professional troops look like a Keystone Cops routine, or yellow backup not bailing out the point-man (or the inverse, the point-man having more courage than good sense), or a hundred other variations on that theme.

And that list is very realistic.  A lot of men ... a lot of tough warriors, even ... have been cut down and their guts strewn down sidewalks for making one of these mistakes.  And yet tomorrow's newspapers somewhere will have a story of somebody making the same mistake again.  I am still alive because pretty much every time I walked into something, the thugs who tried to take me out were entirely too predictable, or at least could be easily manipulated into making one of those common mistakes.

So realistically, people are pretty stupid and predictable too.  Probably much more so in reality than in a multiplayer game ... because like yourself, they can still think pretty clearly in a game.  This is generally not true when the contents of your bloodstream are about 50% adrenalin, you're alone and out of breath, and someone is trying to turn you into rat food.  Under those conditions, only really hard people can even put out the impression of thinking somewhat clearly, and everybody else becomes even more stupid than the computer AI.  (I know I've made my share of stupid mistakes like that, and I was just lucky that my opponents made even more clueless mistakes, and so failed to capitalize upon my errors.)

It's probably good that we can't simulate that influence.


-------------------------
Now, on that list of requirements:

One, yeah, the values will have to work.  That's step one - make the values historically and physically accurate.  Reality is realistically balanced, but using that requires that reality be simulated accurately.

Two - unreasonable loadouts ... depends on what you call unreasonable.  History is full of people putting together utterly absurd weapons packages, and occasionally it paid off.  Usually it did not ...  If the numbers are correct, then this reality will be reflected in the game - "reasonable" will quickly be determined by what is likely to work.

Three - the "killer weapon" ... reality is more of a rock-paper-scissors kind of game.  Weapon/armor combo A will work against B but not C.  There will probably be many possible loadouts that would make another combo undesirable, but unless you know what your enemy is using ahead of time, it's still a gamble.

Four, obviously ...

Five ... what particular players will or will not adopt depends on the players.  As I said previously, I am sure it would have a following.  How many?  No way to know ... I have no idea how many play the game in the first place.

But still, it is moot until we have the module system.  And until all of the data is collected so a conversion can be made.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: mounted_warrior on April 07, 2010, 06:40:48 AM
to: Ron Losey

not sure if this is the right place for my request, but i'm going to give it a shot.
i simply love "the wedding dance" mod for m&b. but i hate the combat system it uses.
i found a tweaked version of RCM which i like a lot, but i have no idea how to integrate it in TWD.
here it is: http://www.mbrepository.com/file.php?id=1540

if you could help me by pointing me in the right direction i'd be grateful.

also see here: http://s9.zetaboards.com/exilian/single/?p=8015844&t=7177828

thanks.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on April 07, 2010, 04:05:52 PM
Short answer - you need the module system for the mod in question.  Then you have to type in all of the new weapon values.  (If most are the same as Native, you can copy many of them.  Any new items need unique stats.)

If you can get that far, I can advise on any items that need said unique stats.

Also note that this will greatly change balance ... it's usually better to also edit troop data to reflect the new numbers.  Best if the team who made the mod in the first place are on-board for the conversion.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: mounted_warrior on April 08, 2010, 12:58:46 AM
thanks for the timely reply.

i tried modifying the horse values in the text files, but i saw no change in the game - horses are still slow.
so yes, i would need the module system for the mod, but the author did not yet reply to my request.
if this changes i'll let you know.

dude, you rock. cheers.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Conners on April 17, 2010, 05:36:33 AM
I have a bit of spare time, so I'll give it a try, with 1.011 Native, and the most recent version of Warband. Hope I can work out something useful for you, with hitting the combat dummies.

EDIT: Sorry, but, where do I find combat dummies? Do I just keep repeating that part of the tutorial that asks you to kill four combat dummies? Won't be able to do much with my stats, in that part of the game. Don't know what weapon stats are used for that sword either.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Shik on April 17, 2010, 08:17:39 AM
You can place combat dummies in a scene using the in-game edit mode (enable edit mode in the configuration menu, then press ctrl + e to start edit mode and press alt + enter to set it in windowed mode.) This would be the easiest and fastest way.
Alternatively, you can search some of the castles. I think some of the nord and vaegir castles have combat dummies lying around.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Conners on April 17, 2010, 08:22:34 AM
OK, thanks.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Conners on April 17, 2010, 09:34:24 AM
OK, I've finished my first test:


---Mount and Blade 1.011---

   Character
STR: 7   AGI: 11   Power Strike: 0   One-Handed Prof: 66

Weapon: Nordic Sword, Swing 28c, Thrust 20p, Speed Rating 99, Weapon Reach 94, Weight 1.5.

Speed Rating -/+0
Full Verticle Swing: 37
Quick Verticle Swing: 29
Full Left Swing: 35
Quick Left Swing: 28
Full Right Swing: 35
Quick Right Swing: 28
Full Thrust: 26
Quick Thrust: 20

Speed Rating +37%
Full Side Swing: 48

Speed Rating +16%
Full Verticle Swing: 43

+41%
Quick Side Swing: 39

+48%
Full Thrust: 37

From this, it seems Mount and Blade 1.011 is exact dame without randomness, and speed ratings are exact multipliers. Though you'll already know that. Not sure what difference weight makes, or proficiency.


Now let's try the same in Warband.


---Mount and Blade 1.105---

   Character
STR: 7   AGI: 11   Power Strike: 0   One-Handed Prof: 65

Weapon: Nordic Sword, Swing 28c, Thrust 20p, Speed Rating 99, Weapon Reach 94, Weight 1.5.


OK... This is where it gets weird. Now, it seems, Speed Ratings don't show up, at all, while fighting dummies, at least. Yep, it works normally for normal soldiers. So, testing this.... is going to be HELL, I'm sorry to report. I'm not sure what to do to help test it.

However, I can report that randomness has been added for the attacks. I pretty well replicated my verticle swings exactly, for ages. But for no apparent reason, the damage would vary.

It went from 37, to 33. Hitting several targets, in different places. Full Verticle Swings, standing still.

I added one point of Power Strike, to see what difference it made:
I was now doing anything from 40 damage to 35, doing the same thing.

That's enough for one experiment. Hope it helps you, Ron.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on April 17, 2010, 05:12:42 PM
Oh, crud.  I guess this means I'll have to get the formula directly from the developers.

If there is ever a module system for warband.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Conners on April 17, 2010, 07:27:59 PM
I've seen quite a few mods out already on Talesworld, for both Multi Player and Single Player. One MP mod is a cooperative mod, where you stand against NPC invaders with your fellow players. Another changes gameplay stuff, and scenes for tournament in SP. There's also some item and troop edits, and improved textures.

Possible that these are all done without the modding system, but I don't know.


EDIT: If for some reason Talesworld doesn't give you the formula, there are some ways of doing it. Edit the Looters numbers to be in extreme abundance, with relatively large groups.
Set Damage to Player to 1/4 and cheat yourself the best armour (problem, this'll make it harder to test speed, and you'll needto meet the STR Reqs), if necessary.
Should there still be problems with their OPed rocks, might need to edit your armour into the stratosphere or invincibility, and edit the Flinch numbers to something they can't possibly reach--while you're at it, change the STR req and weight values to 0.
An extra thing you could do is edit the Looters themselves, giving them 0 Athletics, and 1 (or 0) point(s) of Agility, to make them easy-to-hit targets. Can export your character then put Athletics up to 10, if you want to make it even easier to catch them, without having to edit your stats and possibly the damage numbers.


That's the fallback option. Sadly, my competence with most of the editing is little, so I'm unsure as to how I could help if it came to that :(.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Shik on April 18, 2010, 10:31:41 PM
Actually the modulesystem has already been released. It can be found in the downloads section of the main site.
I made a test using RCM numbers in the items file and module.ini file for warband, and the results were completely different from M&B classic - damage seems to have inflated greatly.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on April 19, 2010, 08:27:43 PM
OK, I'll look it up when I get some time.  (Still having time constraints and nonsense from computers...)

Wish I knew exactly how much the calculation has changed, and how.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Conners on April 27, 2010, 12:50:54 AM
Someone apparently made a mod where you can kill tons of horses. I asked them to give me a download link so I can pas it on to you. Probably be easier if the talesworld folks gave up the formula, of course.

The post is here: http://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php/topic,109651.15.html

Not to hijack the thread... Sorry!

If you have a conversation with Ron about how to test new damage numbers in Warband I came up with a, hmm, solution.  It involves beating on horses instead of other objects.  I can give you or him a mod that will let you just kill horses over and over.

You can increase a horse's armour if needed too, the only problem is the things try to run away so you have to block them, might want to design a scene where they won't be able to run.  I can make this mod available to anyone who wants to test damage really, although it would definitely be preferable if Taleworlds just explained how it works.

Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on April 27, 2010, 09:55:00 AM
Well, if going that far, just hijack the tutorial guys ... strip them of weapons, and then run the tutorial and whack them as many times as needed.  Or the arena teams.

But that doesn't fix the problem any better than whacking target dummies ... the problem is figuring out what formula the game uses, accounting for various stat modifications (skill, power whatever, etc.).
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Conners on April 27, 2010, 07:02:50 PM
Well, yes, but I figured it'd make it easier to test. Any reply from Talesworld?
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on April 27, 2010, 09:08:30 PM
Someone else will have to deal with Taleworlds.  Not only can I not stand the board over there, but the last few notes I sent to the developers resulted in replies that did not answer the question.  Someone else can be frustrated for a while.  (Not like I really have time to deal with it anyway, right at the moment.)
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Conners on April 28, 2010, 03:51:19 AM
I posted something, hope someone there can help. Anything in particular you want me to ask about? Speed rating, effects of power draw and strike, whether STR effects damage or any other details like that, anything else?
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on April 28, 2010, 05:23:32 AM
And if possible, the formula in general.  Damage used to be calculated as between .5 and 1.0 of the rated value of the weapon, plus or minus all of those modifiers.  (Starting in .890, different kinds of strikes also had different modifiers.)  Somebody said that the new numbers were much higher, somehow.  The details of how, exactly ... that would be the key missing component.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Conners on April 28, 2010, 06:23:09 AM
Well, from my testing, it seems to be 1.0x, but with a randomness. So it could be anything from 10 to 18 on the exact some strike. There was a bit of difference between the striking methods I noticed, unless it was speed bonus/penalties. Side swings seemed to do less than up swings.

I asked in the post, hoping to get something for you.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Conners on May 06, 2010, 08:53:03 AM
Quote
Conners matey,

I'll see what I can do for you, I am designer not a programmer so I'll ask the C++ crew :)

Cheers,

Mikail
This was from Yaazy. I hope to hear from him again soon.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Conners on May 18, 2010, 01:11:00 AM
Quote
Conners,

Sorry it has taken me so long to reply to you.  I'll tell you what I could gather thus far, and if I can get anything else I will email you.

There have not really been any huge changes from the way the calculations worked in MB to MB:Warband.
And there aren't really any concrete formulas per se, everything changes based on physics,etc. So I can't really give you a standard formula from a file.

Anyways if I can get something else I'll message you, sorry I couldn't be of more use.

Cheers,

Yazzy
Yazzy has been very helpful, and is continuing to be. However, they're no a programmer and  I'm not sure about the physics of things myself, either. What sort of questions should I try asking now?
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on May 18, 2010, 07:32:23 AM
I mean that we need the game physics calculation.  For example, previously (before .890) the base weapon damage calculation was 50 to 100% of rated damage, plus or minus variables (skills, power whatever, velocity modifier if either party were moving).  In .890 and following, this was modified significantly for type of attack used - and I never got the complete details, but I estimated and got a workable conversion.

Word seems to be that the base calculation has changed a LOT more in Warband.  I need that formula, and I need it to be correct, and I really don't have the time or energy to solve for it by reverse engineering (which could take forever).

If everything is like .890 - 1.0x, then the armor computation (including how it reacts to particular damage types) can be adjusted in the config file.  But the base damage calculation is critical to the conversion.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Conners on May 18, 2010, 07:42:39 AM
I noted the 50% to 100% thing specifically to him, so he'll hopefully tell me whether that's the same, or things to that light. He said there wasn't any concrete formula as such, and that it was physics--which sounds like it's hard to describe, or he isn't sure how to describe it. Should things get too awkward, I can try to get into contact with a/the physics coder on it.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on May 18, 2010, 10:25:02 PM
There is a formula.  Those numbers have to go somewhere.  The computation may be complex in order to give the illusion of some set of physical properties, but there is a formula.

Even actual physics in the real world is done with formula computations.  Issac Newton wrote half of the ones commonly used.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Conners on May 19, 2010, 07:39:50 PM
Still, if he isn't a physics coder, he mightn't know how to describe the formula to me. It'll take some time, but I should get the formula eventually.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Conners on May 20, 2010, 06:24:28 PM
Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaners!  er um hey,

As far as I know mate weapon dmg is not randomized so as to say it is 100% calculated with physics,  however Armor effect is x.5 to x1 randomized.

You may certainly ask about physics changes, but without asking any programmers I think the physics system hasn't really changed, but then again after you ask your questions I will most certainly obtain some info from them.

Cheers!

Yazzy
This explains the damage randomness, at least partially. If you have Warband, you might want to test what the damage is like without armour randomness.

I'll ask him about more-specific formulas for you.

Hmm... seems there's nothing about changing the armour randomness in the module.ini.... So besides editing code, we may be stuck with that. In know someone who might be able to help you edit the code, if you'd like me to ask.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Ron Losey on May 20, 2010, 09:06:48 PM
He has no idea what he is talking about.  Damage on living bodies, without armor, was 0.5 to 1.0 of rated damage, then adding/subtracting bonus items, in every version of M&B up to 1.0x.  The armor damage reduction variable was applied after this calculation, where pierce and blunt weapons did reduce the armor value (originally by 50%, adjustable in the config file beyond .890).  Types of strikes were added to the bonus item calculation in .890, making the damage numbers read more like .50 to 1.35 of rated damage, depending on the details of the attack.

Initial reports from several sources indicate that this calculation has been changed significantly in Warband.

The "physics" he's talking about IS the formula I need.  I mean, really, "35 cut damage" is not a measure of physics - it's an arbitrary value that is plugged into a formula.  If the damage was rated like "350 kilograms per square centimeter, on an edge 60 centimeters long and tapering from 30 microns to 1 cm at a 40 degree angle", then maybe "physics" would be the correct term.  As it is, I need that formula.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Conners on May 21, 2010, 01:23:54 AM
Asked him for the physics formula, and pointed out that one of the physics coders will probably know it. So he'll assumable get the formula off one of them and copy-paste it to me. If that happens, it solves problems where he might get things a bit muddled.
Title: Re: Reallistic Combat Model for Native
Post by: Arkerless on December 07, 2011, 02:22:37 AM
Did you ever get that formula?

Also, curious if there is an RCM for Native Expansion? Or if there is a list of mods that use RCM that I could try?