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Scouting

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  • Alhaam
    Disclaimer: some, if not all, of the following suggestions have been made before. This just explores some options and looks again at the issue of hex reports.
    Message 1 of 6 , Jan 3, 2001
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      Disclaimer: some, if not all, of the following suggestions have been
      made before. This just explores some options and looks again at the
      issue of hex reports.

      Problem #1: a scout moving through several hexes only provides a
      report on the hex he ends in, and not any of those he passes through.
      I find this strange. I'm sure some of you can explain it to me ;-)
      Same thing applies to ships. To me this just seems very odd and a
      curious artifact of the way Atlantis works that could do with another
      look.

      What I would like: A hex report for each hex a unit passes through.

      Problem #2: This could affect game balance too much. Or would it?
      Scouts (and ships) do not have to advance 1 hex at a time to get the
      full report. Such a method is either slow or requires a lot of scouts
      to cover every hex of even a small area. So this sort of scouting
      saves resources by requiring fewer scouts, and provides factions with
      geographical information more quickly. It speeds the game up. Good or
      bad?

      Possible Solution: A scouting skill.
      Level 1 allows 1 additional hex report to the one the scout ends up
      in. So a scout could travel 2 hexes and get both hex reports. If the
      scout travels further than that, he gets first new hex and the last.
      Level 2 allows 2 additional hex reports.
      Level 3 ... etc.
      One can put restrictions on this skill, for instance:
      Cost: $50 - it's similar to OBSE (and they would work well together)
      Faction type: must have war faction type. War 1 = 10 scouts, etc.
      Single man units.

      This seems like too much effort, so I'd rather just allow units to
      get reports of all the hexes they travel through.

      Any suggestions?

      Regards,

      Alhaam
    • Davis Kulis
      I d like to object ... well, you get [partial] information in Turn Events section ... Explanation was already provided :) (as well as your suggestion ;)
      Message 2 of 6 , Jan 3, 2001
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        I'd like to object

        > Problem #1: a scout moving through several hexes only provides a
        > report on the hex he ends in, and not any of those he passes through.

        well, you get [partial] information in "Turn Events" section

        > I find this strange. I'm sure some of you can explain it to me ;-)

        Explanation was already provided :) (as well as your suggestion ;)

        Simply man riding/flying thru region does not have enough time to
        investigate the whole region, assess taxes, determine products etc.

        > Same thing applies to ships. To me this just seems very odd and a
        > curious artifact of the way Atlantis works that could do with another
        > look.
        >
        > What I would like: A hex report for each hex a unit passes through.

        This of course can be an option...

        Besides, full report is necessary only when you're seriosuly interested in
        area. And this means you can afford to have bit more scouts (old style)

        > Problem #2: This could affect game balance too much. Or would it?
        > Scouts (and ships) do not have to advance 1 hex at a time to get the
        > full report. Such a method is either slow or requires a lot of scouts
        > to cover every hex of even a small area. So this sort of scouting
        > saves resources by requiring fewer scouts, and provides factions with
        > geographical information more quickly. It speeds the game up. Good or
        > bad?

        I'd say it wont speed things up to much...

        > Possible Solution: A scouting skill.
        > Level 1 allows 1 additional hex report to the one the scout ends up
        > in. So a scout could travel 2 hexes and get both hex reports. If the
        > scout travels further than that, he gets first new hex and the last.
        > Level 2 allows 2 additional hex reports.
        > Level 3 ... etc.
        > One can put restrictions on this skill, for instance:
        > Cost: $50 - it's similar to OBSE (and they would work well together)
        > Faction type: must have war faction type. War 1 = 10 scouts, etc.
        > Single man units.

        And I'll never use this skill, to be sure!

        1) my scouts are better off TAXing or ENTErtaining (leaders for souts - you
        crazy?!)
        2) this is waste of money

        This seems bad and unusable idea - sorry...

        What makes more sense imho (and a different game ;) is scouting providing
        extra observation range for unit (i.e. SCOUT 1 - sees 1 hex away, SCOUT 2 -
        2 hexes, etc.) or maybe it should be bit steeper like:

        SCOUT 0 - as now - central hex full, bit info on exits [1 + 6 hexes]
        SCOUT 1 - full info on all exits (w/o exit's exits themselves, just
        contents) [7 hexes]
        SCOUT 2 - full info on all exits (with exit's exits themselves) [7 + 12
        hexes ]
        SCOUT 3 - full info on all exits 2 hexes away [19 hexes ]
        SCOUT 4 - full info on all exits 2 hexes away + exits [19 hexes + 18
        hexes ]
        SCOUT 5 - full info on all exits 3 hexes away [37 hexes]

        since this is fat and short version of farsight, it may cost as much as 200$
        per turn to learn!

        > This seems like too much effort, so I'd rather just allow units to
        > get reports of all the hexes they travel through.
      • Alhaam
        ... I was counting on it ;-) ... Aha, that s a good point which I hadn t thought of. Thanks. You at least get the terrain type, and if the hex contains a
        Message 3 of 6 , Jan 3, 2001
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          Hi Davis, and anybody else following this thread:

          > I'd like to object

          I was counting on it ;-)

          > well, you get [partial] information in "Turn Events" section

          Aha, that's a good point which I hadn't thought of. Thanks. You at
          least get the terrain type, and if the hex contains a settlement.
          Better than nothing. This is then more a gap in AtMap and CB, which
          don't import this information.

          > Simply man riding/flying thru region does not have enough time to
          > investigate the whole region, assess taxes, determine products etc.

          So you are assuming that units rush through the hexes and then make a
          detailed investigation of the hex they end up in? Mmm. Maybe I don't
          want my unit to travel like that.

          I don't like the idea of a scout skill either. But perhaps it would
          be possible to make the MOVE command more sophisticated so that you
          can control how the movement points are used. For example, I might
          have a unit that can fly. It would be nice to be able to tell it to
          only move 3 hexes instead of the possible 6, but gather some
          information on those 3 hexes instead of just travelling through.

          Would that be fair? A unit spending double the movement points gets
          full hex reports for all the hexes?

          Similarly, I find coastal mapping by ship or scout really annoying,
          because you keep bumping into coastal hexes and wasting movement
          points, which makes no sense to me. Any competent group of sailors
          should be able to follow a coastline and chart it correctly, and for
          a scout on a horse (or wing!) it's even easier. A useful MOVE command
          would be something like MOVE SW C C C, where the SW hex is the first
          coastal hex to move into, after which the scout just keeps following
          the coastline for the next 3 hexes (unless he runs out of movement
          points).

          So, the key for me is to put some more fancy coding into the MOVE
          function.

          > Besides, full report is necessary only when you're seriosuly
          interested in
          > area.

          I'm always interested ;-) A trader wants to know what resources are
          available and what the native race is. Any monster structures are
          also useful to know about, and shafts.

          > leaders for souts - you crazy?!

          No. You'll want your scout to have tax so he support himself. But
          what about OBSE 1 too, and maybe STEA? Then maybe something useful
          like MINI 3 for finding mithril, or LUMB 5 for yew? You can only do
          this with leaders.

          > 2) this is waste of money

          Information is valuable.

          > This seems bad and unusable idea - sorry...

          Agreed.

          > What makes more sense imho (and a different game ;) is scouting
          providing
          > extra observation range for unit (i.e. SCOUT 1 - sees 1 hex away,
          SCOUT 2 -
          > 2 hexes, etc.) or maybe it should be bit steeper like:
          >
          > SCOUT 0 - as now - central hex full, bit info on exits [1 + 6 hexes]
          > SCOUT 1 - full info on all exits (w/o exit's exits themselves, just
          > contents) [7 hexes]
          > SCOUT 2 - full info on all exits (with exit's exits themselves) [7
          + 12
          > hexes ]
          > SCOUT 3 - full info on all exits 2 hexes away [19 hexes ]
          > SCOUT 4 - full info on all exits 2 hexes away + exits [19 hexes +
          18
          > hexes ]
          > SCOUT 5 - full info on all exits 3 hexes away [37 hexes]

          Far too powerful, and far beyond the ability of a mundane skill. You
          could only gather this much information with magic, or if you had a
          WING and flew straight up into orbit ;-)

          > since this is fat and short version of farsight, it may cost as
          much as 200$
          > per turn to learn!

          Sure, but how does it actually work? How does a single unit map 37
          hexes in one turn? Perhaps if he had a camel... ;-)

          Regards,

          Alhaam
        • Pete Christie
          Hi folks, Happy new year The idea of a scouting skill has som merit, but the idea of getting information on 37 hexes by having scout skill level 5 is
          Message 4 of 6 , Jan 3, 2001
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            Hi folks, Happy new year

            The idea of a scouting skill has som merit, but the idea of getting
            information on 37 hexes by having scout skill level 5 is
            unjustifiable.

            The events section of the report could be used to give more detail,
            and while CB and ATMap3 dont deal with this data, it is still
            available in the report.

            Perhaps a scout level 1 unit passing through a hex could have

            wanderer (4068): Walks from plain (119,11) in Glin to plain (120,12)
            in Glin, and is questioned by a guard. There is a village here.

            a level 2 scout might get

            wanderer (4068): Walks from plain (119,11) in Glin to plain (120,12)
            in Glin, and is questioned by Garrison (3456), on guard. There is a
            village here called Sochaber.

            lvl 3 might get

            wanderer (4068): Walks from plain (119,11) in Glin to plain (120,12)
            in Glin, and is questioned by Garrison (3456), on guard, Vogons (3).
            The local nomads were seen gathering wood, grain and herbs. There
            is a village here called Sochaber.

            scouts level 4 and 5 could spot ruins, crypts and shafts etc.

            Of course there is a difference with sailing, the events section
            reports the ship moving but not the units on board, so I'm not sure
            how scouting at sea would work, perhaps ships would automatically get
            scout skill 3 functionality ('we can see fish! sir')

            I dont think scouts should require faction points, I dont see why
            Magic 5 factions couldnt use them.

            And should a scout (with scout skill) that doesnt move gain any extra
            information that stationary non-scouts dont get ? - I'd like them to
            get something extra, perhaps knowledge of number of units moving into
            or out of that region that turn,
            ('Sire! a unit passed this way last night, I have seen the tracks')
            ie
            Events:
            wanderer (4068): see signs of 4 units entering this region this month.

            These are some of my thoughts, a scout skill would probably be easy
            to add, using the events section would probably be the simplest way
            to add info on hexes seen while moving. The stationary scout
            advantage was a spur of the moment idea of mine, and might be
            complicated to implement, (requires a log of quantities of units
            entering and leaving all hexes) and its crossing over into
            observation skill anyway.

            Pete


            --- In atlantisdev@egroups.com, "Alhaam " <alhaam@l...> wrote:
            [snip]
            > > well, you get [partial] information in "Turn Events" section
            >
            > Aha, that's a good point which I hadn't thought of. Thanks. You at
            > least get the terrain type, and if the hex contains a settlement.
            > Better than nothing. This is then more a gap in AtMap and CB, which
            > don't import this information.
            [snip]
            > I don't like the idea of a scout skill either. But perhaps it would
            > be possible to make the MOVE command more sophisticated so that you
            > can control how the movement points are used. For example, I might
            > have a unit that can fly. It would be nice to be able to tell it to
            > only move 3 hexes instead of the possible 6, but gather some
            > information on those 3 hexes instead of just travelling through.
            [snip]
          • Alhaam
            Hi Pete, Thanks for the ideas. ... Sounds sensible... ... I like this progression, except for the increasing information on the guard unit, which falls into
            Message 5 of 6 , Jan 3, 2001
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              Hi Pete,

              Thanks for the ideas.

              > The events section of the report could be used to give more detail,
              > and while CB and ATMap3 dont deal with this data, it is still
              > available in the report.

              Sounds sensible...

              > Perhaps a scout level 1 unit passing through a hex could have
              >
              > wanderer (4068): Walks from plain (119,11) in Glin to plain (120,12)
              > in Glin, and is questioned by a guard. There is a village here.
              >
              > a level 2 scout might get
              >
              > wanderer (4068): Walks from plain (119,11) in Glin to plain (120,12)
              > in Glin, and is questioned by Garrison (3456), on guard. There is a
              > village here called Sochaber.
              >
              > lvl 3 might get
              >
              > wanderer (4068): Walks from plain (119,11) in Glin to plain (120,12)
              > in Glin, and is questioned by Garrison (3456), on guard, Vogons (3).
              > The local nomads were seen gathering wood, grain and herbs. There
              > is a village here called Sochaber.
              >
              > scouts level 4 and 5 could spot ruins, crypts and shafts etc.

              I like this progression, except for the increasing information on the guard
              unit, which falls into the realms of OBSE. And what if there is no guarding
              unit? Perhaps you could use 'and questions a local peasant.' But the
              progression of information on settlements, products and population makes
              sense to me and fits in with what a scout does, imho.

              > I dont think scouts should require faction points, I dont see why
              > Magic 5 factions couldnt use them.

              Agreed.

              If one had to implement a scouting skill, this seems a nice way of doing it.

              Regards,

              Alhaam
            • Trevor Tickner
              ... Ahh contraire, my good Alhaam : AtMap does recognise the terrain information represented in the events section of the turn report. I can t speak for CB, as
              Message 6 of 6 , Jan 4, 2001
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                It was written:
                >> well, you get [partial] information in "Turn Events" section

                Alhaam replied:
                > Aha, that's a good point which I hadn't thought of. Thanks. You at
                > least get the terrain type, and if the hex contains a settlement.
                > Better than nothing. This is then more a gap in AtMap and CB, which
                > don't import this information.

                Ahh contraire, my good Alhaam : AtMap does recognise the terrain information
                represented in the events section of the turn report. I can't speak for CB,
                as that was developed by another party who should not be disturbed by
                additional CB requests as he has other work to do (pant pant).

                Lord K.



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