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"Wheeling" - Pivot / Move

Suggestions for additional features for the module editor and Vassal engine.

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Re: [messages] [Feature Requests] Re: Edit: [Feature Request

Postby jacar » January 4th, 2011, 3:13 pm

uckelman wrote:Thus spake jacar:
>
> "tar" wrote:
> > On Dec 23, 2010, at 1:15 PM, Skalla wrote:
> > Do we need to have a grouping function implemented first?
>
>
> I think you just hit the nail on the head. The hard part is not
> wheeling per se. That code is already implemented. The hard part is
> defining the group of units to be wheeled. Essentially, the group that
> would be wheeled needs to be known as a super unit that VASSAL
> understands all of the dimensions (length and width). If you could have
> a group/ungroup function, that would take care of the problem. The
> grouped set of units could be looked at by VASSAL as a single unit.
> From there it is a matter of applying the wheel function.
>
> John
>

Grouping could possibly be handled as a different sort of Stack
(i.e, a horizontal one).

--
J.


So, when forming a group, VASSAL would need to know when to make units "stick" together, much like the stacking option where units would stack if they were near the center of one another.

Units could be in a group when they are sharing a side but not necessarily a whole side.

Facing might be another option. To group, units should be facing the same direction.

Units are of different base widths and depths. Vassal would need to understand this point as well...though I suspect this would be somewhat of a non-issue.

Once the group is formed, VASSAL needs to be able to understand the new dimensions and be able to understand where a front corner is and where the center is for both wheeling and rotating.

John

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Re: "Wheeling" - Pivot / Move

Postby pgeerkens » January 4th, 2011, 4:26 pm

Another approach to think about is that used by actual military units - namely that each component unit simply takes a mark from a 'guide' unit and performs whatever actions are necessary to maintain current distance from the guide, and adopt the same facing as the guide.

If we make one assumption - that the game's abstraction level is well thought out - then I believe the following is a sensible conclusion to be drawn:
The individual units of the game are in fact the largest-sized units that actually have trained to perform the maneuvers of the game, and larger 'super-units' maneuver by having the base components synchronize with each other.

So, in a battalion-scale game, forming square either succeeds or fails based on engine calculations of morale, time to contact by approaching cavalry, etc. By contrast in a company-scal game the individual maneuvers by companies is compared to the movement of approaching cavalry pelotons, to see whether base-units have successfully completed the super-maneuver.

Using this guide mechanism, you might even be able to program this mostly in the module, with a minimum of Java code:

Guide units advertise their planned position and facing for a wheel, and follower units trigger on this to maintain distance at a new calculated position with the same facing as the guide unit.
Pieter
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Re: "Wheeling" - Pivot / Move

Postby pgeerkens » January 4th, 2011, 4:29 pm

This mechanism has the benefit of completely side-stepping the 2" and 9" inch rule: Let units move their 11", and If units are too far out they simply lag, unless the guide has moved less than 9" after the wheel to give them time to catch up. This is entierly realistic.
Pieter
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Erwin Rommel, Infantry Attacks
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Re: "Wheeling" - Pivot / Move

Postby jacar » January 4th, 2011, 4:59 pm

pgeerkens wrote:This mechanism has the benefit of completely side-stepping the 2" and 9" inch rule: Let units move their 11", and If units are too far out they simply lag, unless the guide has moved less than 9" after the wheel to give them time to catch up. This is entierly realistic.


If I am understanding your two posts correctly, this is a fine idea for a game that is being designed from ground up. However, when you are playing a game that has already been designed, complete with wheeling and rotating rules, then it would be much better to use some sort of horizontal stacking scheme that VASSAL knows how to wheel and rotate.

John
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Re: "Wheeling" - Pivot / Move

Postby jacar » January 4th, 2011, 5:01 pm

One more thing. There are some miniatures games that this sort of wheeling and pivoting don't apply. Namely, modern/sci-fi warfare and any sort of skirmish warfare...basically any sort of game that does not require any sort of formation.
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Re: "Wheeling" - Pivot / Move

Postby pgeerkens » January 4th, 2011, 5:48 pm

You are confusing function with design - the oldest software quarrel in the world. Good designs only occasionally sound like the requirement they are implementing, which confuses analysts endlessly, but the true measure is what functionality a design proposal implements.

I believe my proposed design is sound, but I wait to hear from other VASSAL developers who have more experience with the engine.

One assumption I made, however, that may be incorrect is the desired behaviour when the super-unit is slightly (or more) too big for the ordered move: I see two possibilities:
    (a) the unit(s) furthest out from the pivot center lag; or
    (b) the super-unit waits for the laggards and moves less than the amount ordered for after the wheel.
That is to say, does the guide unit wait for the laggard and move a pro-rated portion of the 9" allowed, or does it move the specified amount and break the formation. My earlier post assumed (a), but some games may wish to specify (b) instead. This needs to be an option in the implementation.

As for games with individual figures, I believe my implementation remains sound: the way a unit trains for maneuvers is that each individual trains to perform the maneuver I describe: maintain distance and move to new position and facing.
Pieter
-----------------------------------------
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Erwin Rommel, Infantry Attacks
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Re: [messages] [Feature Requests] Re: "Wheeling" - Pivot / M

Postby uckelman » January 4th, 2011, 5:51 pm

Thus spake pgeerkens:
> You are confusing function with design - the oldest software quarrel in
> the world. Good designs only occasionally __sound__ like the requirement
> they are implementing, which confuses analysts endlessly, but the true
> measure is what functionality a design proposal implements.
>
> I believe my proposed design is sound, but I wait to hear from other
> VASSAL developers who have more experience with the engine.
>
> One assumption I made, however, that may be incorrect is the desired
> behaviour when the super-unit is slightly (or more) too big for the
> ordered move: I see two possibilities:
> (a) the unit(s) furthest out from the pivot center lag; or
>
>
> (b) the super-unit waits for the laggards and moves less than the amount
> ordered for after the wheel.
>
>
> That is to say, does the guide unit wait for the laggard and move a
> pro-rated portion of the 9" allowed, or does it move the specified
> amount and break the formation. My earlier post assumed (a), but some
> games may wish to specify (b) instead. This needs to be an option in the
> implementation.
>
> As for games with individual figures, I believe my implementation
> remains sound: the way a unit trains for maneuvers is that each
> individual trains to perform the maneuver I describe: maintain distance
> and move to new position and facing.
>

So far as I can see, this proposal is for a particular type of wheeling.
Whether this type is appropriate for a particular game depends on the
rules of that game.

--
J.
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Re: "Wheeling" - Pivot / Move

Postby pgeerkens » January 4th, 2011, 6:20 pm

But by defintion a "wheeling", for each component unit of the super-unit, is an affine transformation with unit determinant. I have merely described a means of having a guide unit specify the affine transformation to follower units as a synchronized rotation and translation, followed by another synchronized translation. Then the follower units perform the two moves, guided by the following two constraints:
Guide units: Do I wait for the furthest follower unit, or do I move off on the beat?
Follower units: If unable to complete the entire move specified, do I execute as much as possible, or sever myself form the super-unit and silently ignore the order?
Pieter
-----------------------------------------
"Even on the attack, I found the spade [to be] the equal of the rifle."
Erwin Rommel, Infantry Attacks
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