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Forum » Cossacks I » Modding » Friendly Fire Questions
Friendly Fire Questions
FtoomshDate: Saturday, 15/June/2013, 2:00 PM | Message # 1
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Does anyone know how the Imperia Modder added in death from friendly musket fire? BTW 1.35 and OC Mod do not implement death from friendly fire of muskets. (However, they do implement death from friendly fire by cannon, howizters and arrows.)

If I recall correctly, Imperia has a control button "Allow fire through friendlies". If toggled to off, musket units will not attempt to fire through friendy units. If toggled to on, musket units will fire through intervening friendly units and these freindly units will die like enemy units.

Given this, how does Imperia handle ranked fire? I seem to recall that it did not implement large, deep columns like OC Mod does. Instead, if I recall correctly, Imperia only implemented lines and maybe squares and not formations as big as OC Mod does (as OC Mod has up to 432 man columns, lines and squares.)

I am trying to work out the possibilities of implementing realistic casualties from friendly fire of muskets in OC Mod Balanced. Could OC Mod's deep columns work in such an implementation I wonder? Would just the front ranks fire with "Allow fire through friendlies" turned to OFF or NO?

WHY DO I ASK?

As well as looking at these issues for OC Mod Balanced, I have now commenced a parallel project. This project I call X Mod. The X is for "experimental". I will be experimenting with my real time / real range theories. X Mod will have the following basic features (in summary).

1.   Built in Cossacks 1 engine with BTW 1.35 +Baddog + OC Mod + OC Mod Balanced.
2.   Designed for 4x sized maps.
3.   Combat time will be modelled to real time.
4.   All speeds will be realistic.
5.   All action ranges will be realistic.
6.   Damage will be realistic. Attacks that hit willkill or disable straight away or close to it.
7.   Control clumping or bunching of units ifpossible.
8.   Ensure that early formations (like pikes) are notobsolete by the time they cross the 4x map.
9.   Remodel the economy to blend with and support 4xmaps.
10. Allow higher potential unit limit if the gameengine can handle it without freezing.
Now, if you are about to say "that won't work as a practical, playable game" then you might well be right. Remember, the idea is only to do an experimental Mod as a test bed for ideas to do with real time and real action range game modelling.

I have already tested 4x maps in Cossacks 1 and they run fine on modern computers. My modelling shows a 4x map is about 2000 metres by 2000 meters if we scale it by a pikeman's height. This is assuming a pikeman in his gear, including-height adding boots and helmet, to be about 175 cm tall. This would be about right for the era.

I have found my PC screen shows an area in the game that would be 50 metres by 50 metres approximately. I have tested 18th cannon in X Mod and given them a range of nearly 1,000 metres (to scale) before range upgrades. Inaccuracy at that range (at standard cannon Razbros) is quite amusing. Some shots can fall outside the 50 metres by metres square when aiming at the middle of the screen at maximum range. That seems fair enough to me at this stage.

To convert Cossacks I range units to metres, I use the simple equation that 775 range units = 50 metres = 1 screen width. This is pretty close to the right value by my measurements.

My idea is to make a test Mod (X Mod) where, as I said, all reload times, movements and weapon ranges are correct and to scale and occur in real time at real pace. Thus a musket will take about 30 seconds to reload or maybe 20 seconds for elite units. An 18th C cannon will take about 3 minutes to reload.

As I discuss in my RTS design essays, you can re-scale space for modelling purposes but you can't re-scale time. The formal proof is in the essays. Since you can't re-scale time you can only render it accurately or distort it. I want to test the removal of time distortions. That is, I want actions to take the realistic amounts of time.

Then, the test becomes this. What is the effect of realistic space scaling and realistic 1:1 time modelling on game playability? Clearly, the game will take very long to play; probably too long. That much is obvious.

The next effect to test is the impact on early tech level 1 (17th C units) as they attempt to traverse a very large map. Again, my theories predict (pretty much axiomatically) that tech level obsolesence is a real danger. In short, even fully upgraded 17th C pikes could be obsolescent by the time they cross the map. Nevertheless, a number of modelling possibilities suggest themselves to me. Early game raiding will scarcely exist at all in this model unless some sort of fast early hussar is given to all or most nations. 17th C pikes will become "reconnaissance in force" formations extending out to a safe range but not over-extending. They will almost certainly need heavy horse back-up to begin extending themselves into the enemy quadrant i.e. beyond the half-way mark towards the enemy base.

Early phases to late 17th C phases may well be about pushing to discover useful hills and positions about halfway to the enemy base or a bit further if early battle successes occur. The capability of upgraded 18th cannon to shoot across nearly half the 4x map (albeit with considerable inaccuracy) will mean cannon positions just a bit into the enemy quadrant will be or could very powerful. A walled base and all its interior will be vulnerable to well placed cannon and good scouting. Such factors will enforce forward defence rather than just camping in a base. Camping on hills will still occur. However, the enormous 4 times map will expand the opportunities for flanking and by-passing. Scouting and area control will be highly important (no balloon allowed). Due to the huge maps all units will need maximum sight range provided by the engine (8 I think).

Of course, the whole experiment could be a dismal failure. Theories and hypotheses must always be tested against reality. In this case reality is how such a game model actually plays out.


Message edited by Ftoomsh - Saturday, 15/June/2013, 2:02 PM
 
ab_99Date: Saturday, 15/June/2013, 9:43 PM | Message # 2
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Quote (Ftoomsh)
Does anyone know how the Imperia Modder added in death from friendly musket fire? BTW 1.35 and OC Mod do not implement death from friendly fire of muskets.
Editing source game engine.
 
FtoomshDate: Saturday, 15/June/2013, 11:14 PM | Message # 3
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Quote (ab_99)
Editing source game engine.

That is clever. My next question is a "scoping" question. That is, I want to get a general idea of what I might possibly do next. Where could I get a copy of game engine source code? Where could I get a copy of the Imperia routines which implement friendly fire? What programming language is the game engine source code written in? What application, utiltities and compilers would I need? Finally, are Modders in general willing to share their new code?

A broader question would be this. What engine would be best for the largest scale game possible? I mean with the largest maps and the largest possible unit numbers. Which engine or engines best model 17th C and 18th C engagements now, in terms of realistic tactics, realistic firing etc.?
 
ab_99Date: Sunday, 16/June/2013, 0:14 AM | Message # 4
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Quote (Ftoomsh)
Where could I get a copy of the Imperia routines which implement friendly fire?
Author AWAR, only does it.
 
EbelAngelDate: Sunday, 16/June/2013, 2:19 AM | Message # 5
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Quote (Ftoomsh)
Does anyone know how the Imperia Modder added in death from friendly musket fire? BTW 1.35 and OC Mod do not implement death from friendly fire of muskets. (However, they do implement death from friendly fire by cannon, howizters and arrows.)

Quote (Ftoomsh)
Where could I get a copy of the Imperia routines which implement friendly fire?

ab_99 is right. This is a dead track I believe, because as far as I'm aware only awar has the modified source to Imperia. I'v tried contacting him in the past with no luck at all. He used to hang out here (http://www.internetwars.ru/forum....7f1cd84 )
You can try yourself, I doubt he still visits.

That said , I'm fairly certain that Awar also had access to the American Conquest source code and took the code from there. It all looks too similar to AC, it's not the only example ( multiple tab pages on buildings, ability to enter buildings, etc...)
So what you would need is both engine sources and that is not a dead track because I have them.

Quote (Ftoomsh)
What programming language is the game engine source code written in? What application, utiltities and compilers would I need?

C++. Microsoft Visual 6.00.

Quote (Ftoomsh)
Finally, are Modders in general willing to share their new code?

There's only a handfull of people who'v had/have access to the sources. Right now I know there's a few russians working on an "anticheat" thingy for their league games but to tell you the truth,  haven't heard from them in a while, so not sure what they are up too.

Quote (Ftoomsh)
Could OC Mod's deep columns work in such an implementation I wonder? Would just the front ranks fire with "Allow fire through friendlies" turned to OFF or NO?

Bit like Cossacks 2, where you get to choose which row fires in the column/formation. I also have the source to that one, but it was written for a later version of Visual Studio and from experience its a much harder source to work with. (Missing libraries, compilation errors galore,...)

Quote (Ftoomsh)
This project I call X Mod.

First about your equation.
Quote (Ftoomsh)
775 range units = 50 metres = 1 screen width.

Could you translate 1 screen width into x and y please. Because your screen isn't mine. For example, go into the editor. Press CONTROL + G. Scroll down to the bottom right of the map. You will see 550 grids. Press CONTROL +G again. You will see 125 grids. Press CTRL+G again, you will see 53 grids. This grid size is approx my screensize. Is it also yours? You can press it again and see 27 grids , again 14 grids.

X and Y then. Put down a peasant top left corner and one bottom right. Press CONTROL +I. Move your peasants into the corners as far as you can. You'll see x and y coordinates.
There's a small border on all sides, roughly 100 ish x and y. A normal map is around x 15350 y 15350. Big 30700 x 30700 y. Huge (4x4) is around 61400 x , 61400 y.

About your 1:1 scale. Though its obviously realistic, i'm fairly certain it is mostlikely unplayable. Ofcourse you should test it, but, can you tell me how long in minutes it would take for a unit to walk from x 0 y 0 to x 61000, y 61000?

I also believe that because the long time it would take , it would lead to people camping and upgrading their tech tree as fast as they can and only then engage into war. Anyone who would try to send their early units would run into a higher end unit by the time they arrive at the enemy base.

Scaling is inevitable to make it playable, but I could be wrong.

Then  one more thing about 4x4. I always thought it's just a bit too big. It works ok if its a continent map ( the one with water surrounding it). That landsize is about right to be playable. I would be nice to have an 3x3 because not everyone has a pc that can handle the size combined with a huge army.
I remember once playing a 4x4 game and we had some 25 000 units on the map (about 12-13K each). It didn't crash and that was years ago but it depends on the pc's and internet connections. I'v played games where its just lags with only 1K units too and becomes unplayable.

On a side note. If you are experimenting , it might be worth breaking the game open. It will save you time. Rather than having to pack up every change into a mods.gs1 / patch.gs1 file and then see if it gives an error or not, you can extract the ALL.GSC file and dump everything into the main game folder. Then delete the ALL.GSC and run the dmcr. Try it on a vanilla version first you will see , it will work.
If you are trying this on a mod version , then keep the right order of the files in mind when pasting them over the originals. (EG Baddog files first, then OC files over them, etc...).
It will be a bit a mess in the main folder, but its just the same in the ALL .GSC anyway, at least you wont have to pack up everytime you want to test.
I even went trough the trouble of putting everything into logically named folders and changed the folder structure inside the engine to accomodate for this. (MD files in a folder, GP files in a folder , NDS files in a folder, LST files....) Takes less than a minute to find a file, make a small change and see it ingame if you are testing and expirementing.


 
ab_99Date: Sunday, 16/June/2013, 3:35 PM | Message # 6
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Quote (EbelAngel)
I'v tried contacting him in the past with no luck at all.
You are right, Awar no longer communicates.

Quote (EbelAngel)
That said , I'm fairly certain that Awar also had access to the American Conquest source code and took the code from there.
You are right,  he did "mod Bonaparte" on the engine  American Conquest.

Quote (EbelAngel)
I also have the source to that one, but it was written for a later version of Visual Studio and from experience its a much harder source to work with. (Missing libraries, compilation errors galore,...)
I'm sure you have the same source as that of Gexozoid. By the way, he regularly updates dmcr.exe.

Ftoomsh
Why are you interested in, you have found a young Turk?  cool

PS! Perhaps WikiLeaks has a copy of the source code, they know everything. smile


Message edited by ab_99 - Sunday, 16/June/2013, 3:52 PM
 
FtoomshDate: Monday, 17/June/2013, 3:00 AM | Message # 7
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Thank you for those replies, gentlemen. Very comprehensive. I have to be careful that my enthusiasm does not run on ahead of my abilities and my spare time. I am an RGOL (Retired Gentleman of Leisure). However, I do not have as much leisure time now as I thought I would have. My "Trouble and Strife" (wife) still works so I am the house husband and do most of the cooking, shopping, cleaning, washing etc. etc. and most of it poorly, since the place is in a mess! In addition, I maintain 4 acres of land (1.5 acres are my own). On top of that, the 2nd half of my house needs repainting since I only got half way around it last time I had a painting marathon. Have you ever tried setting up planks and trestles on your own without an apprentice? I think I gave myself a hernia. Oh and then there are our 19 year old twins who go to university and do absolutely nothing around the house. Well, we all know what teenagers are like don't we? I was one once... a long time ago.

Now, to get serious. I just mention the above in case I seem all keen about modding and then go AWOL for weeks at a time. This might occur if I suddenly decide (or my wife decides for me) that the painting of the house or the resurfacing of the verandah deck or whatever job just cannot be put off any longer. But I'll be back as Arnie says.

Some of the things I ask about are just "scoping" questions. I am getting an idea of what would be involved, how much work and so on. I have not yet decided how deep I will go in modding. For the moment, rebalancing with the .MD and .NDS in Cossacks 1 OC Mod Balanced is time consuming enough and rewarding enough. OC Clausewitz and I are creating a more balanced game. Naturally, that takes lots of real games to test it, which we enjoy immensely but are time consuming in themselves to play. A 21 nation game which seeks to preserve some uniqueness and assymmetry about each of the 21 nations certainly presents a lot of balancing challenges. I could write at length just about that but I will spare you the details.

Q. "Could you translate 1 screen width into x and y please?" - EbelAngel

A. I will come back to that when I have done the test you ask. I will post again in this thread. At this stage, I will just say the standard Cossacks display fills my screen so I am saying the standard display represent about 50 metres going on the height of pikeman. My margin of error could be as much as plus or minus 10 meters. So it could be down to 40 metres or up to 60 metres. I am not being very precise here. Even so, basing action ranges on this rough measure gives action ranges much more realistic than other implemenetations which all greatly foreshorten action ranges.

Q. "About your 1:1 scale. Though its obviously realistic, i'm fairly certain it
is mostlikely unplayable. Ofcourse you should test it, but, can you tell
me how long in minutes it would take for a unit to walk from x 0 y 0 to
x 61000, y 61000?

I also believe that because the long time it would take , it would lead to people camping and upgrading their tech
tree as fast as they can and only then engage into war. Anyone who would
try to send their early units would run into a higher end unit by the
time they arrive at the enemy base.
Scaling is inevitable to make it playable, but I could be wrong."

A. Yes, all those issues I analyse in my two RTS Theory Papers (if people have managed to wade through them).

To paste just one page from my Paper 1.

RTS Meta-Law 1 – The Meta-Law of Intrinsic DesignConflict

 ·   The requirements for modelling verisimilitude on the one hand and practical playability on the other are in direct opposition to each other.

Corollary of Meta-Law 1

 · How we creativelyresolve this intrinsic design conflict will determine the overall shape and success our game project from high-level concept design right through to finished product playability.

Expansion of SML 1 - Realism, Scaling andPlayability
 ·       Reality is too big and too complicated to reproducewithout scaling and simplification.
·       The standard RTS modelling response has been to rescale,simplify and then make further relative distortions of space and time.
·       Re-scaling space does not in and of itself changethe time scale. This is a key point.
·       Time is compressed deliberately in standard RTSdesigns.
·       “Civil time” or “build time” is furthercompressed relative to “military action time”. In the real world it takes much longer to build a building than for a squad fire-fight to occur. In the standard RTS game world it can take about the same time for these two events to occur.
·       Sight ranges and weapon ranges are oftenshortened and changed relative to each other.
·       A realist modelling solution demands the removalof all these space and time distortions.
·       Accurate space scaling and real time spans areneeded for realism, especially for military realism.
·       Greater realism of course equals greater gameengine complication.
·       This complication is no longer a computational or graphical problem due to advances in computing power, graphics and algorithmic solutions.
·       Accurate space scaling, real time scales and the avoidance of space and time distortions when combined with large maps and large unit limits for a strategic game will introduce major playability problems. To put it simply, the game will take too long to play.

Conclusion:  A major design innovation is needed to implement a military purists’ solution to scale and time problems without causing insurmountable playability problems. A solution is proposed in Paper 2. This solution involves a two-speed real time engine with tactical time precisely equal to real world time (1 minute = 1 minute) and strategic time running sixty times faster so that in one real world minute game-time advances one hour in-game. Major formation movements and military construction (trenches, earthworks, stake barriers etc) occur in strategic time. Engagements occur in real time and the game engine automatically governs time-switching according to engagement assessment algorithms.

I hope the above pastes well.

Yes, I have considered the problem of early units being obsolescent by the time they cross the map. It does stretch the standard up-grade and tech upgrade model of RTS up to and probably beyond its limits. It might well be that 17th C units in such a model, simply act as "reconnaisance in force" elements to scout forward positions. Raiding would scarcely occur in such a model. Thus build up to an 18th base would be virtually assured for any competent player. However, as artillery when upgraded could now fire almost half way across a 4x map (about 3/8ths perhaps), then forward positions will allow shelling of an entire base, at least where forward scouting of the base is possible. Thus taking forward positions with 17th units could well be a key move.

Even so, X Mod will very likely prove unplayable. It will take far too long to play and the engine won't support needed capabilities to make large maps playable. As I said, X Mod will really just be my own experimental testbed mod to test my theories.

The real thing I would want to push for in this arena if I had the influence, money, capability and time would be to develop a radical new game engine. This is the two-speed time engine with strategic time and tactical time. Strategic time would run at 60:1. Every minute of the player's real world time sees an hour pass in the game. At this pace you order construction of military works (not civil works) and bring up and place formations represented by symbols on a tactical map. The map would likely be 10,000 metres by 10,000 metres.

The RTS (growth) element is modified to become a mobilisation and positioning phase with attendant military works, emplacements, fleches, gabions, trenches, earthworks, stakes, piled logs and so on. Mobilised forces and reinforcements come in from off-map. Key towns or fortresses must be held around the borders of the map (inset a bit, not right on the edge) to ensure reinforcement and supply. Reinforcements march and ride in and supplies are waggoned in along the road behind such a reinforcement town or fortress. The player is assumed to have a total army of 64,000 available off map. He has to mobilise this army and supplies, bring it in and also scout and start forward positioning. Whilst there is no contact with the enemy, the game engine runs at the speed of one player real world minute sees 1 hour pass in the game world. The strategic map shows only formation symbols, work detail symbols and constructions symbols. However pre-existent fortresses, towns, roads and terrain features are shown fully formed where the "fog of war" has been dispelled by scouting.

Intially, the terrain of the strategic map will be shown as a map which shows only major details and not much detail. The player can send out scouts along mapped roads and towards important features, towns, bridges and heights etc. The scout disappears into the fog of war. The scout has to return to HQ before the map is revealed now in a misty format showing features well enough but not like in the plain light of direct view. Direct view will only be conferred by formations.

The engine handles what happens to the scout when he has disappeared and is uncontactable. The scout will take no foolish actions and will seek to scout and avoid being killed or caputured. If small scouting groups engage (if less than say 5% of on map forces) then the action and outcome is never shown. It is handled by the game engine. If no scouts return, you know nothing of what has happened. If scouts return you get a report and map information, even including formation symbols where enemy formations were sighted plus a vector indicating their movement direction at that time. The strategic map will alow you to plot an predict future postions based on this information. But if an enemy formation changes pace or direction these plots (predictions) will likely be wrong.

Once significant formation forces come into a defined action range (depending on weapon capabilities of formations locally present) then the game engine will automatically switch from strategic time to real tactical time of 1:1. Now, you get a full screen tactical map and full capability to control the engagement. Where engagements are long lasting, the tactical time display persists. Where actions are broken off and no significant actions are occuring, the game switches back to strategic time and strategic display.

You will this game in a kind of amalgam or hybrid game. It is not a battlefield game with all forces currently on map. Also, it is not a classic RTS game where growth is economic and then that is translated into an army. It is a hybrid, with fully realistic battlefield elements which uses mobilisation, positioning and engagement "growth" to replace artificial RTS growth. It actually attempts to model army mobilisation, manouvre and positioning in its entirety.

Of course this a just a scoping and concepting dream at this stage. If a major development house doesn't pick up and run with an idea like this then we are unlikely to ever see it.


Message edited by Ftoomsh - Monday, 17/June/2013, 3:09 AM
 
EbelAngelDate: Monday, 17/June/2013, 3:33 AM | Message # 8
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Quote (ab_99)
PS! Perhaps WikiLeaks has a copy of the source code, they know everything.

http://letmebingthatforyou.com/?q=wikileaks%20cossacks%20source%20code

teehee


 
ab_99Date: Thursday, 20/June/2013, 4:51 PM | Message # 9
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Quote (Ftoomsh)
For the moment, rebalancing with the .MD and .NDS in Cossacks 1 OC Mod
 You have to collect all the files in the table, then the process of creating a balance will go faster.
I can collect the files in the  table Exel,   by a script if you want.
 
FtoomshDate: Sunday, 23/June/2013, 2:24 AM | Message # 10
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I can collect the files in the table Exel, by a script if you want.

That would be great if you can do it easily, thanks. However, I don't want to put you to too much trouble. I have a basic file that I was sent, MDREFERENCEMODS.XLS (although it is missing some data, particularly cavalry). I also have some spreadsheet files I have made myself, like files for pikes, shooters and cavalry. In these I record all the major characteristics of each type and keep track of my changes. So I have kinda got a handle on it now. The thing is I am only balancing an existing Mod not creating a Mod from scratch. It's not nearly as difficult as building a brand new mod.

We (me and OC_Clausewitz) play on 2x maps. We only use open plains maps. The large armies of OC Mod need wide spaces for manouvre. Other maps like plateaus become impossible to play. It's hard enough pushing a camper off a hill. Pushing a camper off a plateau where the opening to the plateau faces his base and the unscalable heights face you, is just plain impossible. Narrow choke points are almost impossible to get through too. When we get lakes, we don't allow boats or ships as OC Mod (and Balanced) is really a land map game.

We get a wide variety of starting positions on 2x maps. The best positions are corners. This gives enough time and space to allow development and a variety of games with about 60% decided in 17th C and about 40% decided or drawn in 18th C. That's a rough guess. We agree to draw games if we have been battering away for about 2 to 3 hours without a result.

I am hoping a few people will come on board soon for some OC Mod Balanced games. Clausewitz (Phil) and I play some days through the week (usually daytime) but this depends on Phil having a day off. We also usually play Saturdays and Sundays from about 7:00 am (that is Australian Eastern Standard Time.) However, if you nominate a time that suits you and we translate that to Australian time, I will play ANY time ANY day of the week. I will get up at midnight and play to dawn (my time) if that suits you. I am a dedicated nut when it comes to this game.

Currently, I don't have a dedicated installation process for OC Mod Balanced as it is still in the balancing phase. To play it;

1. Get a copy of Cossacks BTW (with key).
2. Install Baddog Mod (off the disk or steam copy).
3. Install OC Mod, all patches via the standard patch links.
4. Get on my mailing list.
5. Recieve links to downlaod updated mods01.gs1 and mods02.gs1 files from my Skydrive (part of Outlook)
6. In your Cossacks OC Mod directory find mods01.gs1 and mods02.gs1 and rename them mods01.bak and mods02.bak
7. Drag and drop my new downloaded mods01.gs1 and mods02.gs1 files into the directory.

Really, it is just a simple download and drag and drop.

POSTSCRIPT

How does OC Mod Balanced compare to OC Mod if you have played OC Mod? Main points are;

1. Russia is a full power again with production to match other 18th nations. It can make 8 towers and as many stone and wood walls as other 18th nations.
2. Ukraine has been de-powered as it was overpowereed before. It is slow to start but masses up well by late 17th C. Hetmen now produce in 18th and make in mass numbers. Serdiuks have more shot power so they are still useful in 18th.
3. Turkey now gets an 18th Janissary which is better than 17th Janissary but still does not match standard 18th C muskets.
4. Bedouin for Turkey and Algeria have been strengthened (better shot) and build faster.
5. Life points for all infantry have been standardised at 350. Peasants life points are nor 200 not 100.
6. Muskets have had their fire rates slowed a bit more (about 25%) and their coal and iron burn costs increased by about 25%.
7. Geo is removed from 17th C to 18th C and made very expensive.
8. Cannon burn more coal and iron to shoot. (Cannon reload time probably need to be slowed like muskets have been.)
9. Howitzers have a slight range improvement and can now hit stone walls too.
10. Fast 17th C infantry has had its speed slowed from 32 to 28. Standard 17th Infantry speed is 24. Algerian light swords and archers still move at 32. Non-imperial nations without fast infantry can make fast pikes from diplomatic centre. These can be put in formation but not upgraded. England can make these too, despite having fast barracks pikes as well.
11. Three imperial nations (Bavaria, Spain and Piemont) can now make up to 8 log cabins.
12. Ukraine can make log cabins in the 18th C.


Message edited by Ftoomsh - Sunday, 23/June/2013, 2:42 AM
 
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