Authored by SeanBeansShako:
Hello there, I’m assuming you are reading this because you want to know how host a Mount and Blade Napoleonic Wars Line Battle Event.
First off a little background about me the writer, SeanBeansShako AKA Nurdbot in the game and mod has been playing these things since the start of the year in both the mod Mount and Musket and the DLC successor Napoleonic Wars with my regiment the SAdraGoons. We have seen our share of good, decent and terrible line battles and after six months of experience playing and interacting with the NW community we have pretty much understood that the organised portion of this game is the most interesting.
Because if it wasn’t, It’d be just 19th century Counter Strike with horses. A very detailed look researched CS with horses and pretty hats.
So what is the vital factor of a line battle you ask? simple, the same factor we play games for anyway. Having fun. Having organised fun with an emphasis on teamwork! and what better way to learn teamwork than standing in a line with a bunch of other dudes and hoping to god your smoothbore muskets together can hit something and together you can fight off a nasty cavalry charge coming towards your flank.
Now let us begin line battle boot camp.
Getting or borrowing a Server!
First off, you and your regiment will need at least a single server with 200 slots that can handle the many actions of a 200 plus population shooting at each other. There are several providers mentioned on the board that sell out such things and with a little bit of research and asking around with money of course you can set yourself up with at least one server. If you have your heart set on doing this for several months and a friendly personality you will only need one yourself.
However if you find yourself financially troubled the good thing about the NW community is that some of the bigger older regiments will be happy to provide a server if needed in exchange for a spot. This is incredibly helpful as if a LB is successful an extra two hundred slots and two more Admins is always a helpful thing to have with organisation.
Don’t forget to either get a TeamSpeak or ask an owner of a friendly regiment permission to use their own for the future too. I would suggest getting in contact with one of the staff of the FSE Official TeamSpeak and trying to get your own channel set up. You can also use the STEAM Community and its features to set up and organise your line battle event. I suggest creating a group and open it so regimental leaders interested can join.
POSTING A THREAD IN THE EVENT FORUM
Once you have your server set up and your most trusted level headed men picked to admin the event the next step is to post a thread announcing your line battle in the NW Community Events section of the forum. This thread must state the following clearly:
Name of the event.
Type of the event (e.g line battle, organised conquest, organised siege etc).
What day the event takes place/ time the event starts (e.g 7PM GMT or 8PM EST).
The rules of said line battle (we will cover these in more detail in a moment).
Contact details of you and your other admins in your regiment (STEAM community/email addresses or the forums PM system).
The TeamSpeak address for other regimental officials to meet up prior to the line battle (half an hour or fifteen minutes before the event starts).
Banners and images promoting the event are optional and up to you if you can throw them together.
One of the most important things to be aware of when putting together your own line battle is the rules you will pick and enforce during it. These rules are pretty much the only way of keeping things from turning back into a chaotic TDM server and should be enforced and endorsed by both admins and regimental leaders during the line battle.
Also, be aware of the day of the week you hold your line battle on. Friday and Saturday evenings are quite popular, other days of the week are more clear and you will have more people turn up as there maybe nothing else going on.
A good idea though is to pick a solid set of rules and just stick by them. Personally I think 5arges rules for his line battles in the past have been the most solid and easy to understand and use. Being over zealous with your rules or not enforcing them enough can break your line battle before the first one is even over so make sure they are enforced. 5arges rules will be listed down at the bottom of the guide as a good reference for you later. I’d also post in SvenssonHD’s thread
and have him list your event in the stickied weekly events section of the sub-forum. Make sure to tell him if it is a focused EU or NA time zoned event too!
Basic Line Battle Server Settings!
Choose your map (note: ALWAYS pick a large map random or custom made for line battle events)
Pick ‘team death match’ to start with.
Turn off TK auto kick.
Turn off reflective damage.
Turn off auto blocking
Turn off auto balance.
Set all classes limits to a high number.
Set the time limit to the highest number (999999 example will default to 60 minutes)
Set the score for both teams to the highest number.
Turn combat speed onto medium.
Turn off the option to fade away riderless horses.
Set up the server password.
Pick your factions.
Switch to battle mode when everything is all set.
Buffs default range (keep on most of the time unless your server isn’t top of the range stuff or you are having connection issues and need something to sacrifice).
Build Points for both teams (100).
Please note as of this time the Admin server panel is slightly buggy and sensitive so it is best to set this stuff up in advance as much as possible. It is better than defaulting to Arab harbour and then spending five minutes looking for a random map that doesn’t resemble the Alps.
TEAMSPEAK PRE-BATTLE SET UP!
Now you have everything set up, a week has passed and you got around twenty other dudes in TeamSpeak chattering randomly at you so what do you do exactly?
Make sure the server you are using or borrowing has all be set up in advance, either personally or by a trusted friend with a sensible easy to type password as well as the most basic settings as well as the decided factions. A final tip about the password is be original. Reusing or make easy to guess passwords will make your LB easy for trolls and griefers to slip in and throw a wrench in your planning. Things like password should seriously not be used.
First off, lay down the line. Be firm in telling people to settle down as time comes towards the sign up time where the final numbers of what people have been brought will be given to you when you ask it (usually ten-fifteen minutes before LB start time) and what they want to be. If your Admins are there have one of them deal with one team while you work with the other.
For this activity I suggest having either a real life or your computer calculator with you as well as a Excel spreadsheet to quickly round up the numbers and organise who is what. If you don’t have Microsoft Excel use the Google documentations version of it which is free.
Once who is what has been settled and balance check has been done (we will talk about line battle balance in detail later) it is time to give out the password. Best way to do this is PM the regimental leaders personally or poke them with it in TS. If you have permissions edit the channel with the non password information (team layout and numbers on each side) when you are done as well to help inform the others clearly in the channel.
This should only take you fifteen to twenty minutes tops and hopefully things will go smoothly. When you are done head on out to your server (if you can leave an Admin or friend in the channel to direct a few late comers for five minutes) and begin the line battle.
OVERSEEING THE LINE BATTLE
You did it! you have gotten the line battle stuff together and hopefully have around sixty or seventy guys on each side or more willing to fight for glories and fun. But we’re not out of the woods yet. If you have the server set up and the map for the line battle ready give everyone who is attending a five minute grace time limit so they can load up the DLC and join the server. Some people have slightly older computers and the servers connection is being hammered by one hundred dudes doing things so it takes them a minute to get in.
While this is going on encourage the regiments there to stretch their legs and go through the light drill they should know so their newer or less experienced members and officers get the hang of it. Allow for some light horse play that doesn’t end in killing or team killing as long as no regiment is putting off another if they are clearly practicing themselves. I would check at this moment to see what the latency issues are like and consider what to do with the buffs. Most people expect them to be on and at the end of the day the buff system is good in keeping a line together. However consider tweaking them off if you are experiencing some server issues already.
When you are sure everyone is on the server tab and take a peek at both armies numbers and lay out and make one more balance check before starting. If one side is overbalanced by 12 guys and the other is light by around that number use your authority and Admin chat to get them to switch to that other team to keep things balanced and fair. If the factions are France against a nation with Rifles keep this in mind and make sure this is balanced with the French light infantry ratio being two to one against the Rifles.
Once that is settled feel free to do a reset and hopefully now the battle is on! Give everyone a minute after reset to do their final changes and check ups as well as scout the map and then do one more reset and using Admin chat inform everyone that the first Round and the game is now LIVE.
While for now it is fun for them it is business for you (unless you got two close friends and admin buddies doing this already) you have to keep your eye out obviously looking for people breaking the rules. Most of the time rules are actually followed in these things but it never hurts for people to know an Admin is there and watching them.
And speaking of the people, all regiments attending should also police themselves and crack down on any issues in their own ranks. Officers are responsible in making sure their own authority is used to keep horseplay to a minimum. You can’t be everywhere at once.
The best way to do this is not take part in a line battle and ghost over the proceedings as a spectator as you pretty much can cycle around the field in the click of a mouse button. There are other ways but this is the most professional. If you want however you can also watch from the field and spawn as the General of either Army. If you do this though keep in mind to tell your other Admin(s) to do the same as you. Also keep in mind that you don’t really need an Admin horse or have to spawn with the needed tools right away as anyone can use them when they get their hands on them if you get killed.
Be sure to mention you will be using this system in the thread to inform everyone so you don’t get shot the second you are playing in the first round. We will cover Admin etiquette in more detail later. Your line battle should have five rounds as the default amount of rounds both teams will play. You will also be switching to the second map after the 3rd one. The 5th round usually is the deciding one if it is a close battle with both armies. If there is a tie an extra round will be brought into play depending the remaining numbers towards the end. The 6th round is usually a gimmick and you should consider and mention that you will be doing it in the thread if you are going to do one so the entire first team doesn’t quit at once at the end of the final round.
Keep an eye in group chat and make sure it doesn’t become too obnoxious and spammy, you have the power to tell people to STFU if needs be. If things are quiet for a second also check the team numbers again and keep an eye on the battlefield to make sure there is some balance happening. If one regiment is clearly stacked with skill or numbers and is wiping the floor with the other seriously do consider swapping half of them to the opposing team to give everyone a fair and equal match. This is part of your job, if this regiment has issues with it tough luck. Underline this fact in your thread. If they don’t like it they can go to another line battle or host their own. Try and be firm though with this fact but don’t go over the top as nobody needs internet drama.
If you encounter problems with either a single person or a regiment in general warn them two times in Admin chat of a space of several minutes (be sure to be clear on what they are doing that is breaking the rules) and screenshot the actions and the player log if they insist on breaking the rules. Very rarely it gets past this point but if they continue these actions into another round slay half their numbers. If they break anymore rules it is open season for temporary banning them and warning them in the thread. If they continue to act like this in your future events PM or message their leader about it.
Don’t let the round drag on too much, an average round should only last around fifteen minutes anyway. If both teams and a handful of survivors are camping around their cannons taking pot shots at each other on other sides of the map order them with Admin chat to stop it and charge.
Hopefully your line battle will go down smoothly with barely any incidents and everyone will have fun and everything will be ice cream with lots of GG’s at the end and possibly a over the top gimmick round to polish it off. Impressed people will be eager to return next week for another go. Do consider having a few close friends and regiment members at hand for your future line battles to cover for you if you want to play/need to do something else and hopefully you’ll provide the NW community with months of organised line battle entertainment.
Below is the old school late Mount and Musket/Early NW Line Battle list most of which was originally drawn up by 5arge. In the majority of line battles I’ve witnessed this list is the most efficient in my opinion and should be read, understood and followed by everyone. If you own the server you may use this list with any rules you like but understand that most of what is needed to be covered is covered below.
5arges Old School Rule List:
Line Infantry Numbers: 10 min/25 max.
No obvious gaps in the line, officers and musicians are allowed to move freely and defend themselves.
Lines of over 10 men must double up, front of these lines is allowed to kneel and fire as well as reload.
No crouching when loading your musket or firing. If you are the front of a double line this is allowed only.
No shooting while charging into melee.
Men of four or less must join another line and fight.
Skirmishers (Light Infantry AND Rifles).
Rifles numbers including officer (7 min 12 max).
Light Infantry numbers including officer (10 min 16 max).
Gaps of five men between each soldier are allowed (Rifles).
Gaps of three men between each soldier are allowed ( Light Infantry).
One Sapper/Engineer allowed for both to fix up defences.
Both are allowed to crouch and fire in skirmish formation (with three men or five men gaps allowed between each other).
Must stay together in a light group all times.
Men of less than four must rejoin another line and fight as line infantry.
Light Infantry cannot pick Musketoons or Rifles. A mixture of bayonet infantry and cav muskets are encouraged if possible.
Cavalry (Light, Medium and Heavy Rules):
Cav Numbers (12 min 16 max).
Must stay together in a small blob.
Must all pick the same role (Officers can ignore this if they wish to be a ‘marker’ and easily recognised by their men) EG Lancers or Hussars.
Dragoon Cav must rifle either in a vague line on horseback but they can also dismount and act like line or light infantry and fight on foot. Exceptions can be made in melee with the officers pistol as it is dubiously inaccurate.
If a Cavalry unit has been decimated to under four, abandon your horses and join the nearest line.
Artillery Crew Numbers (6 min 8 max).
Artillery should consist of two trains, two officers and two rankers who reload the cannons. Two extra rankers with ramrods can be allowed.
Artillery Guard: (5 min 9 max including Officer and Sapper) .
Two Cannons (Either one 12 pounder or Howitzer or two of both).
Artillery Guard must remain around the Artillery pieces and crew and staff the defensive position with the sapper.
Artillery Guard can choose to fight in skirmisher formation or as a line. Once Artillery crew are KIA Guard survivors must link up with the nearest line and fight as line.
No team killing allowed.
Respect for all regiments and officers as well as event organisers in group chat.
Do not feed the internet drama machine.
No spamming of group chat.
Encouragement for Team Chat used for possible teamwork.
Do not rambo, join a line when everyone else around you is dead.
Do not extend the round as the last man by running away from eventual defeat.
Do not engage an Admin avatar in direct combat unless it is obvious he is engaging you.
Report an infraction once in chat.
Admin Etiquette: Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Cannon Ball!
We pretty have much most things covered but lets talk about how you and possibly your regiment by extension portray themselves in this line battle.
People don’t like jerks. Especially jerks touting a shred of authority. The main character of the subject this mod is based on found this out the hard way. You and your guys shouldn’t be jerks. The best quality of an admin and event organiser is patience. Don’t rush into things. With events themselves you have a whole week to set things up, an hour to finalise it and hopefully two hours minimum to see it through.
Be a cool dude and approach everyone with a neutral but friendly attitude. They obviously like playing organised NW with you and that is a rarity in itself.
Some people do take things more or less seriously with these things and nature plays out some people will get grouchy and complain and moan at you if things play out. Don’t personally let it get to you. Address all complaints with the same neutral and patient air. Also, if things do go south with insults and attitude the screenshot key is your friend.
What you shouldn’t do is abuse your Admin powers and spam Admin text all over the place because quite frankly it is annoying (fun fact, you can replace or just remove the sound files for those commands!) and quite frankly undignified. Purple text should be used to inform and confirm and nothing more. If issues arise and people leave don’t make a fuss about it. Shrug and carry on. Address these issues with whoever is linked to them via the forum's private message system and emails. Don’t drag this stuff into your thread as it just feeds the internet drama machine.
If things get on top of you, find the right man to take over for a event or two and take a break. After all when fun turns into a job it doesn’t become fun now.
The subject of ‘Maps’ and Other Events plus Gimmick Event Suggestions!
Now we come to the final part of this guide, lets assume you’ve gotten into the swing of things with line battles and being Mr Pointy Hat On A Horse.
Lets be honest, randomly generated maps four times out of ten are terrible. The Warband Random Generation system is obviously broken. The best way to combat this is really to just keep trying in advance and set up on the vaguely flattest map you can find but there are other options too.
The DLC after release comes with quite a few large open spaced maps for land battle that are worth trying at least after the first three rounds on a Randomly Generated Map. Maps like Hungarian Plains and Ardennes as they have proven in the past to be big enough and optimised enough to handle the numbers and actions of line battles. Strange Fields is also another good example if you have around sixty on each side.
The forums themselves to this date are working on many custom and Historical era line battle maps that are worth downloading and uploading to your server to try out. With good Admin skills and a strong set of rules a NW line battle can be fought on anything providing it is large enough to handle 170+ players.
Experiment with game modes every now and then too like siege and conquest, both of which can work with slightly lighter line battle rules perfectly fine (rally at spawn point, move together do not leave if your numbers are under four for an example) it doesn’t hurt to experiment as long as you keep your thread updated and the regiments who sign up well informed.
As for Gimmick Suggestions here are few from the past that always go down well:
Old School everyone line up close together on both teams and fire on Admin command (Officers duel to the death first).
Russian Revolution (both teams go Russia and fight it out as Partisans in a big melee brawl). Gathering up in a line beforehand and facing each other down is optional.
Officer Brawl/Sapper Brawl: See above, apart from everyone going the Officer and Sapper Class of either teams.
Charge of The Generals: Both armies pick their General class and engage each other in a nice melee brawl.
Rocket/Artillery Gauntlett: One team goes Russian Partisans the other British Rocket Artillery or normal cannons. Team Russia bravely charges certain death to get to the guns.
Mortal Kombat: Everyone drops their weapons and engages in a massive free for all brawl at the command of the Admin. Last man standing wins. Make sure to turn off TK auto kick for this one.
If you are really brave and have both the server and manpower considering having an alternate NW mod/Warband mod multiplayer night too!
So there you have it. A guide for setting up and doing a line battle. I do hope you use this wisely and all players who set up and take part in line battle events keep it in mind because a strong friendly community will keep the Warband multiplayer alive for years to come.
Now get out there and good luck with your line battles.