For the last week or so I have been reasonably busy, but I did manage to find some time over the weekend to implement the Cohesion Modelling system!
As with Fatigue modelling, this is one of those parts of the game where the actual modelling has to be designed up front…
There are still some more tweaks to be made, but in essence, the majority of the cohesion modelling is now in the system. This blog post serves as an early preview only – things can and will change 🙂
So what is cohesion exactly?
Cohesion represents a unit’s state with regard to how well the men are formed into their lines and columns. It can be thought of as the solidity of the formation. The higher the cohesion the more solid the formation.
Unlike other games, having a low cohesion or even zero cohesion, will not cause a unit to rout. This is because Ancient Armies differentiates between cohesion and morale.
However, cohesion does have a big impact on shock combat. This impact will vary dependent on the deployed equipment. But in general, as a rule of thumb, the higher the cohesion the greater a formation’s ability to fight and defend in shock combat.
Going hand in hand with the cohesion modelling, is the new concept of irregular units:
Irregular units represent units that have no solid formation, but instead, consist of a number of entities that are randomly moving about within their allotted formation space. These type of units are never subject to cohesion losses, but then again, these type of units also have a cohesion level of zero!
So as a hint, you might not want to commit irregular units to shock combat! 😛
The regularity (or not) of a unit is stored at formation level, so a unit could conceivably have a number of formations, some of which are solid and regular, whilst others of which are fluid and irregular!
So what has gone into cohesion modelling?
The short answer is a huge amount of stuff! There are so many variables that affect cohesion that it’s not really worth me mentioning them all here. However, if you watch the video at the end of this blog entry it will provide some insights as to what is being modelled.
Anyways, here are some examples:
Note that I have set up the manoeuvres of the allied conscript unit so that it pretty much loses cohesion the moment it moves. This is to show some of the flexibility of the system.
In this particular case it would be a good way of modelling the conscript infantry from the golden age of the chariot. In those days these units could barely form a square when stationary! When asked to move they would simply fall apart.
Such units need a lot of care and attention to make sure they are manoeuvred in such a way that they get time to recover!
In the above example we used a standard movement order. When used out in the clear, most units will get away with little to no cohesion damage. But what about something a little more strenuous?
As can be seen the units that are charging are taking cohesion damage far faster than those that don’t. This when combined with increased fatigue means that one will need to time one’s charges and counter charges properly!
Now to throw in some terrain into the mix:
The above example shows the folly of sending line units into a forest. It really plays havoc with their cohesion – and that’s just for standard movement. If one were to charge in, the effects would be even more severe!
What is interesting in this screen shot is that the expert unit appears to be slower than the average unit, which itself seems to be slower than the conscript unit!
How could this be?
At first I thought it was a bug, but it is in actual fact a product of emergent behaviour from all the simulation systems working together in harmony! And in this case, it is the correct emergent behaviour!
The reason why the above happens is that the well trained unit has more cohesion than the others, thanks to its superior training in reducing its overall cohesion loses. However, the side effect of this is that its formation is more solid than the other formations. So it has in effect, a harder time of trying to push that formation through the trees.
Whereas conversely, the conscript unit has taken a lot more cohesion damage, but its formation is now a little more open which allows it to move through the forest a little faster.
It’s almost like the well trained unit is taking its time to get through the forest with the minimal of cohesion damage!
I find it quite thrilling when this kind of emergent behaviour comes out from a system. It’s this type of behaviour which will shed new light with regard to how these battles were actually fought! 😎
There is a lot more going on behind the scenes than I describe here. All I have done is merely scratch the surface with this post. But this is the advantage of computer wargames over their board game brethren – they allow one to include a huge amount of simulation modelling without necessarily exposing the player directly to it.
The video below provides a few more insights into the modelling, but still leaves a lot out as there would simply be too much to cover!
So where next? See below…
In addition to all this work I am also reading yet more books on the subject of Ancient Warfare, this is the current one:
That’s it for this post. In the mean time have a good one!