Firstly let me remind everyone actively involved in warfare that the communal forum for recording issues or complaints of the particular \"demoralising or needlessly difficult\" kind is in INGAME 69 - HELP INGAME for the command set on using it.
Second: There are a number of questions / comments / concerns brought to myself and Genesis in the wake of the latest Battle for Knightswood. In the interest of clearing up some misconceptions, here are some answers:
Vannish could not marshall SF legions despite having adequate commission. This caused a significant delay in executing planned besieging of the 1st set of KW forts, allowing Parrius time to regroup legions and march in.
Jynx hadn't set his legions up with the right hierarchy to obey orders from Mercinaens. This is a deliberate safety mechanism to ensure that COMMISSIONS don't allow unintended complete command of an army, so the native FM can retain some autonomy over who can command what.
Siegetowers were painstakingly marched down highway to around the Mercinae Halfway Tavern forts. Grappling was tested both on our forts and on exit locations, as discussed in the help file, but they would not activate. If not grappled, the help file discusses instability of STs and their potential collapse. This resulted in the inaction of utilizing STs for safer fort besieging that would have potentially saved thousands of lives, not cost them.
Siegetower issues are definitely known but had been discussed specifically with people - Vannish for one - in Mercinae by Genesis and I (Elmaethor) personally told Vannish and Skulkarax at least three times that siegetowers are to have a full makeover which hasn't happened yet. It is up to you to have tested siegetowers prior to use, to working plan. It sounds like you tested and found them NOT to be functional so their existence becomes moot. The suggestion that if some component of a system you knew not to be currently active would have saved you is risible. Did you try to use them? I hope not. Did your plans hinge on their miraculous activation? Which part of your campaign were siegetowers the lynchpin safeguard for your 4-reverse-gear legions?!
Let it also be added that any use of siegetowers in this case would've an attempt to use something you knew to be a potential exploit, trying to get some benefit from bringing a non-active item so maybe there'd be a loophole to avoid strikeback and thus damage without consequences. This notion of battle without consequences runs through all the Mercinaen thinking in this episode and it's fundamentally wrong. I'm not even sure why it'd be preferred. Surely there comes a point when playing the game - which is competitive after all - needs a decent opponent, one you have to battle to overcome?
The ideal victory sought in Knightswood sounds like the equivalent of playing somebody at chess while they're asleep. White moves, black snores. White moves again, keeping quiet as possible. Black meanwhile hasn't made a move. White continues to move pieces, developing position and sticking to a defensive gameplan to eventual victory. Black sleeps on.
Mercinae had spent 3-4k men besieging Parrian highway forts (35k strong) which took over 3.5 hours to punch a hole in. The algorithm for highway forts were changed afterwards to take 500% damage, that allowed Parrius to take down about half the number of forts of ours in about 15 minutes with little loss of men.
HELP BOTHWAYS has an explanation for how this should have been approached. Damage dealt / strikeback suffered in the moment is all flexible, often tweaked and tuned as we edge closer to a balanced system with everything working. At present this is still a development phase. The issue was not reported until the damage was already done.
Let is also be pointed out that the flip side of this \"alteration\" is that Mercinae's siege attempt against Knightswood was made 4-5 times faster and more potent also. Something that Parrius have not complained about, and that Mercinaens are either unaware of or have conveniently forgotten.
Mystic legions were attacking one another during battle and often could not be ordered to halt using the retract all or engage <enemy legion> commands. This resulted in the attenuation of mystic legions that expedited their demise upon Parrian bombing.
Having over 30 legions in the same locale point is in many ways asking for confusion and chaos. We're looking into the effectiveness of dozens of legions over just a few larger ones. Confusion is made worse by constant orders and Parrius had similar issues in their command structure / response.
Mystic legions were ordered to bum-rush Parrian legions firing off mortars to engage them in melee. Upon entering their locale, the men were ordered to engage Parrian legions, but would not. They were set to battleready approach and phalanx formation with 100% weapons deployment and were all 250 man strong. There was no reason in my mind why they should not have engaged faster, as I have done this before without issue. They were ordered to retract after several minutes of inactivity and orderedto re-engage many times. At some point after that, only some legions finally started attacking, but several legions were going down by then.
When Laramyn retracted legions a couple locations away to mortar bomb, orders conveyed to the mystics to go behind a city legion at halfway tavern were still taking an inordinate amount of time. Orders were given several times once every minute approximately. About 2/3 of legions moved, the others did not. They could not be ordered to move with subsequent ordering, including retract all and a re-order. In total, it is estimated that half the mystics forces were lost due to poor or null response time (around 2.5k men) throughout the whole battle. \".
Half of the Parrian legions weren't engaging too due to battlefield confusion and interference of battle-lines (the presence of over fifty different legion banners in a single location all trying to fight). The Parrians understood this consequence of battlefield confusion and chose to tactically spread their men out across numerous locale points. The word \"flawless\" has been thrown around here as if to suggest that the Parrian generals did not encounter any issues. This is neither true nor relevant in this example since the \"spreading men out to increase effectiveness\" is a matter of strategy and not an example of \"bug free\" conditions.
Apply the \"conveyed to the Mystics to go BEHIND a city legion\" thinking instead of repeating spam aliases that weren't proving effective. Let's not forget also these same conditions applied to the Parrians throughout. Also check BANNER and consider the numbers of commands and therefore number of legions ordered to act concurrently. Front-line is only so large.
Consider the benefits enjoyed by exploiting the smaller legions vs large legion. The estimate re: Mystics is not accurate either. Was CONVEY attempted, if retreating, to send the Mystics homeward bound in a single command covering the whole distance?
I (Elmaethor) was in-game and active at this time yet not a word was reported, nor to Hyperion. It's a great example of HELP BOTHWAYS importance. What could have been a speedy bit of advice (if not a system amendment) in the moment - saving the losses - pinpointing the issue/complaint with all scenario in place and in play... it turns into a vague woe-is-me request for special treatment long after the engagement in which Parrius' losses were greater but no sense of entitlement is so pervasive...
Despite the assurance that Thakrians would not be allowed (Genesis in ref: to Hyperion stopping them) to stymie our efforts to take KW from Parrius, we were engaged several times PvP from teams of Thakrians who sided with Parrius to help them. That is, Gandalph, Veradux, and Karkaroth (any others?) specifically fought in the same location as Parrians without attacking them. Necrophona, Satsuki, Belgarath, and Veradux fought us in Mercinae proper.
This point would be laughable if it weren't so pitiable. As he made clear on many occasions, Hyperion's intention and mandate was to stop Thakrian LEGIONS from messing with Mercinaen SOI/LEGIONS. Individual Thakrians would never have been part of this. It's surprising anyone could've presumed they would be. That has never featured in Avalon, not in any century. Thakrians attacking you in person is completely irrelevant and anyone who thinks otherwise is an idiot. Look only at HELP PTKILLS for an idea of the Thakrian / Parrian relations.
This one wasn't asked by anyone but perhaps should have been: What did we do wrong that can't be blamed on the system but is instead a result of inexperience and / or bad decision making and / or lack of communication. This goes for all sides and features prominently in every war. A little introspection goes a long way before throwing out the accusations along with the baby and the bath water.
Written and shown unedited exactly as rendered by text based game bulletin board on Avalon Online RPG and by my hand on the 30th of Leaflost, in the year 1398.