Rout Behavior (Full Version)

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wdkruger -> Rout Behavior (1/4/2013 4:02:32 PM)

I've been reading some posts on rout behavior and thought I might suggest a solution. When a unit routs it should retreat beyond the LOS of any enemy units. However, if it is "rediscovered" while still in a rout recovery state, it should then rout again. In this way, long routs would only occur in the context of pursuit. The strange thing about the game is that units in the "rout recovery" state are actually fairly static. They tend not to run away.

wodin -> RE: Rout Behavior (1/4/2013 5:30:55 PM)

Rout should be looked at and broken down abit more..90% of the time I feel they would be retreating or doing a fighting withdrawal rather than a full on run away as fast as possible..I mean how often did units actually rout? Start of the Bulge yes..but most other battles I read about it happens rarely.

GBS -> RE: Rout Behavior (1/4/2013 7:30:08 PM)

Perhaps use another word other than Rout unless the unit is just going to run away and be out of play from then on. I feel the same about Halting. Isn't that a German word for stop? I'm not sure it gives a good mental picture of what is really happening with that unit. Perhaps use "going to ground" or "bunkering" because when they stop they are doing other things like engaging, firing, taking casualties, etc...

wodin -> RE: Rout Behavior (1/4/2013 8:13:06 PM)

engaging would be cool..isn't bunkering already in?

RockinHarry -> RE: Rout Behavior (1/4/2013 8:39:25 PM)

Me too is currently playing with the public beta, mainly with my OP Veritable setup and I too figured, that routing units quite oftenly rout to illogical places, like toward depth of enemy territory or, generally away from friendlies.

What IŽd like to know is what "cover treshold" is used for cover terrain, applicable for "route recovery". If thereŽs i.e a village and a forest, is the direct fire or indirect fire cover modifier used (as set in map editor)? Other factors? Would be nice if Dave could explain some. :)

Generally I feel (and it is done in a number of other games as well, ie SPWAW), that routing units should "rout" toward their HQ, or maybe a set rallying point. Even if thereŽs enemies around that might cause extra casualties to the routing unit, it should accept it and keep going (towards HQ or rally point).

"retreating" and "routing", obviously is not that firmly tied to losses taken, but probably more to amount of enemy units in close proximity, combined with arty crushing cohesion of the unit.

An extreme example still is entrenched infantry, that take huge cohesion losses by enemy arty and then can be rather easily ejected from their entrenchments from little pressure of advancing enemies.

I see "entrenched" units as part of a well organized defense system, with various measures taken before the battle, including defense fire plan, TRPs, maybe some mines and wire placed ect., so there actually should be rather little influence by arty bombardement, for what I understand of cohesion of such units. The more if thereŽs just "suppression", small drop in morale maybe, but very little or none at all losses taken.

So far so good. Still enjoy playing and working on battles for BftB. [8D]

Arjuna -> RE: Rout Behavior (1/4/2013 11:42:23 PM)

I agree that routing needs further refinement. But let's first provide a little history of how we have handles this in the past. Initially we used to roput a fair distance but feedback wanted it not so long. We changed this and then feedback wante it further back. We have changed this again and now , surprise, surprise people want it to be shorter again. Earlier we had code that forces a rout recovering unit to rout again if it was "sprung" by a nearby enemy. But then people complained that this saw routing units continually routing and never getting back int he fight. So we've come full circle a few times in fact.

Another misnomer that I'd like to scotch is that many units routed. Many American units did so during the opening German assault of the Bulge. Even elite units routed - ie ran away from a fight. The 101st Airborne did this in Normandy. Sure the 101st were not as experienced as they were five months later in Bastogne but they did do it. Fighting retreats are the most difficult undertaking an infantry force can conduct. They are frought with danger and required a lot of coordination. Which is why they are usually done as part of a planned activity and not some impromtu reaction. Most units tended to hold and then break.

Another notion I would like to scotch is that routing units stop as soon as they can no longer see the enemy. Far from it. When panic sets in within a unit it becomes more a mob that a cohesive force. As such, it is nigh impossible for its commander to control. Some of the cooler heads will stop early while others keep running further back. Many keep running long past what a rational assessment would deem necessary.

So what I propose doing is reducing the max range a little so they don't end up so far away and use a safest route - ie one that favours cover and avoids known enemy fire.

wodin -> RE: Rout Behavior (1/5/2013 12:11:51 AM)

Can't they just rout to the closest cover behind the lines? My only issue was how often units rout esp dug in or emplaced. I always see rout as a total drop in moral where the units dropped their weapons and ran away, I still think times in the game the unit would pull back to cover as the attack broke down or something rather than rout which is a serious position for a unit to be in. As for fighting retreat what I mean is they'd be pulling back with the odd person shooting back or even given abit of covering fire i.e a retreat rather than a rout.

Anyway I never had an issue with the distance a unit routed more how often and where they went. Maybe as others have said if they rout back to their HQ, or even the HQ above that if the immediate HQ was fighting aswell?

I just think there are severities of rout here..1. Where the unit loses all moral, drops it's weapons and legs it as far as possible (this unit should then be out of action for at least a day as it was rounded up and issued new weapons etc. 2. Part of a unit starts to fall back and others follow as the retreat spread through the unit, some give covering fire and stop and shoot but on the whole it's more a unauthorized retreat where the force doesn't loose to many stragglers and they get back to a safe position or retreat back to the HQ, officers and NCOs' keep control of their sub ordinates on the whole and direct the unit to a safe position most likely at HQ. I'd imagine the second to happen more than the first.

As for dug in and emplaced units well they should be alot harder to rout esp emplaced.

wdkruger -> RE: Rout Behavior (1/5/2013 12:50:46 AM)


I am a relatively new player, so I did not know the history of routing. I think your suggested approach seems reasonable. I really am enjoying the game.

Arjuna -> RE: Rout Behavior (1/5/2013 2:17:14 AM)


We do have retreats but often good troops will opt to "hold in place" ( as indicated by the yellow square in their reaction icon. Perhaps we can lower the threshold for routs a little. This will have the effect of making retreatys and retreat recovery more common with a corresponding reduction in the number of routs. What we have to guard againbst here is that we don't see a single good unit holding up against an overwhelming force till it is annihalated.

wodin -> RE: Rout Behavior (1/5/2013 2:39:14 AM)

Thanks mate! Sounds good to me.

RockinHarry -> RE: Rout Behavior (1/5/2013 2:58:08 AM)

From further intensive testing the past hours, IŽd say thereŽs more involved, if one looks carefully at the environment, the routing takes place. IŽd some really sticky entrenchment defenders, without making them uber troopers in the editor beforehand. What appeared helping a lot, is to use rear slope defenses (or within woods, cities...), to disallow too many enemies getting LOS/LOF on single defending units. At least that counts for human controled units and lots of micromanaging.

IŽve yet to test with AI units, although I have some doubts that it can handle these the way I just mentioned.

Could also be, that more retreating and routing is triggered, when an otherwise good shape unit gets to a point, when it starts to request emergency resupply. IŽd entrenchment defenders obviously stick longer, if I raised initial ammo stocks to about 200% (a well prepared defense would have extra supply at hand, ammo in particular).

Another point with "routing to wrong places", could be an irregular frontline (or none at all), i.e large open flanks, larger map parts which are void of enemies and such. The more a front is "closed" towards the enemy main lines, the less likely a routing unit moves to wrong places.

Would be nice, if one could "paint" map parts initially as "friendly" and "enemy" territory, which gets updated during a battle, in order to feed units with some "frontline awareness".

Btw, do routing units take "lost contact" counters into consideration, or just currently visible threats?

Well, thatŽs all just from latest "observations". No idea, if all that said makes any sense...

TMO -> RE: Rout Behavior (1/5/2013 6:11:54 PM)

Alex Bowlby in 'The Recollections of Rifleman Bowlby' describes a withdrawal and rout:


'Prepare to withdraw!' shouted Mr Simmonds.
I pulled on my greatcoat over my equipment.

The platoon fled. Major Henderson was walking the rest of the Company down the hill. 'They'll probably try a box-barrage,' he said, 'so we'll stop here.' The Company sat down and waited. Sure enough a murderous barrage came down at the foot of the hill.

...'All right, "D" Company,' said Major Henderson. 'We'll return to the positions.

...The whole show began again...When I heard a rush of feet I lay on my back waiting to be bayoneted. I couldn't even raise my hands above my head. But the feet passed my trench. Looking out I saw the Platoon running down the hill. Leaping out of my trench I raced after them.

...I went headlong. Scrambling up I plunged forward in child-like rushes, my pants round my ankles. Again and again I crashed into the corn. Sobbing with rage, ...I tried desperately to keep up with the others.

Severely abridged - I thoroughly recommend you read the book.



pacwar -> RE: Rout Behavior (1/9/2013 2:16:17 AM)

This is appears to be a variation of the long retreat issue...for some reason when ordered to defend a bridge crossing the battalion hq which commanded two infantry companies and and a mortar squad found it expedient to place itself in the front line rather than its then routed away....not directly back as has been noted but towards enemy lines. While that was bad enough since two companies were under direct command of the hq they decided to follow the battalion hq resulting in abandoning their postions and wandering around in the woods...when a hq unit routs should as a matter of course the subordinate units be given direct orders or assigned to another command unit?


Arjuna -> RE: Rout Behavior (1/9/2013 4:47:08 AM)

subordinates do not follow routing superiors. They will continue with their existing orders or until the superior replans. But it won't replan until it recovers from rout. So something else must have happened in this case. BTE if a unit is routing or rout recovering then the unit info box will have a red arrow or square when the info box is set to display rout status and a red background when set to show combat power as in your screen dump. The only US unit routing appears to be the mortar platoon. The HQ and its line companies all have green backgrounds.

pacwar -> RE: Rout Behavior (1/9/2013 6:03:55 PM)


That makes sense, so if I want to keep the subordinate units in position when the hq routs I need to give them direct orders. The screen shot was taken after the hq had recovered and obviously given orders to the subordinate companies. I think the question of direction and length of the rout is still problematic. I understand that units that are routing could move a long distance with their objective to get out of the area of danger but I think even the most frenzied group would have a sense of which direction is "safer" than would also seem logical that routing units could be stopped when their encounter other friendly units, particularly from their same battalion or even regiment...and that would be true if the unit they encounter is a command unit...I have had companies rout through their battalion and regimental command that were deployed some distance from the front line. I also think command units by their very nature might be expected to get a grip on themselves a little sooner than line units.

wodin -> RE: Rout Behavior (1/9/2013 8:36:40 PM)

No the units should stay in position even if the HQ routs..

pacwar -> RE: Rout Behavior (1/9/2013 10:18:40 PM)

So here's an example of my conern about hq's routing. The hq unit, circled in red, has routed about two kilometers away from the subordinate units circled in green, through elements of another battalion...perhaps moving through them slowed the routing hq down, otherwise it would still be routing. There seems to be plenty of sheltering terrain, woods, etc. the routing unit passed through before stopping. At least it routed in the correct direction.


Arjuna -> RE: Rout Behavior (1/9/2013 10:46:05 PM)


First off the presence or otherwise of other friendly forces is not going to slow down the routing unit. It looks like its routed about 2.5kms. That's about right midway bettwen the min and max rout ranges used in this latest patch. As I mentioned in another thread I jave reduced the min and max ranges for routs to between 1200 and 2100m. So that should reduce how far back it goes. I have also modified the code so that it uses a covered route for its rout.

pacwar -> RE: Rout Behavior (1/10/2013 12:09:18 AM)

I don't think a battalion of formed troops would allow friendly units to rout through them...and particularly a hq unit...all it would take would be another officer to order them to stop and back that up with his unit...a cocked .45 can certainly have the affect of focusing the mind when its pointed at open country I have no problem with units running between 1200 and 2100m.

wodin -> RE: Rout Behavior (1/10/2013 3:07:21 AM)

pacwar I think what we want is probably a nightmare to code. Easy for us to talk about but most likely not that easy to implement. Things like knowing where the front lines are for instance, the game is constantly in a state of flux so how will it be possible to code in a front line. I thin Dav eis trying to get it to work within the current game mechanics..i.e giving a distance and using covered safest movement code.

Arjuna -> RE: Rout Behavior (1/10/2013 3:53:05 AM)


I agree that routing units moving through non routing friendly units should have a chance of being stopped but history is full of examples where not only were they not stopped but the formed unit actually was affected by the routers and it too routed off. So at best it should only be a chance not a certainty. I will see what we can do.

By way of example as to how this can affect even crack troops read Ridgway's account of the battles to secure the causeways in Normandy. There is one that I recall in which the initial assault line of troops routed back right through the formed up ready to assault second line. See Chapter V of "Ridgway's Paratroopers" by Clay Blair, Quill 1985. And by the way the second line was so focussed on going forward, that it let the routers flee past them. It went on to secure the far bank and saved the day. So the ability of formed troops to halt another routing unit depends a lot on what they are doing at the time. If they were just on defence then I reckon the probability would be higher than if they are moving, assaulting or reorging.

pacwar -> RE: Rout Behavior (1/10/2013 4:17:38 AM)

I am not a programmer so you may be correct, but given all the other factors that appear to influence the direction and length of routing units it doesn't seem it would that problematic to include proximity to friendly units as another factor for impacting the severity of the rout.

pacwar -> RE: Rout Behavior (1/10/2013 4:26:58 AM)


You raise some interesting a miniatures wargamer I completely understand the concept of a front line unit routing through one would be interesting to know how far behind the routing unit the paratroopers in your example were...of course if a gaggle of men come bursting into your lines from rather close proximity there's not much you could do to stop them, particularly if you're in the midst of planning an attack yourself...I think rout can be divided into two phases, the inital disorganization and terror...friendly troops cannot affect that, but as the unit continues to move the all encompassing need to get away is replaced by a desire for safety and I think that could be provided by friendly units, particularly if the routing unit has moved over 2 kilometers. Let's say the first kilometer is dominated my abject fear but beyond that some sense of relief should affect their behavior.

wodin -> RE: Rout Behavior (1/10/2013 7:45:18 AM)

Maybe if they rout through HQ units or through units with high leadership (Within voice communication so the footprints will have to cross each other) they should have more chance to stop?

wdkruger -> RE: Rout Behavior (1/10/2013 1:15:06 PM)

Does the local situation affect decisions like routing and retreating,i.e. if a unit routs does that increase the liklihood of routing/retreating for a nearby unit?

pacwar -> RE: Rout Behavior (1/10/2013 2:44:58 PM)

wdkruger raises a good my game the hq unit that routed was adjacent to two subordinates and routed through elements of another battalion. What impact does the routing unit have on units it moves through or adjacent units? We've already established the fact that the routing hq can impact its subordinate units by issuing revised orders once it recovers from the rout...does the fact that the hq unit ran away affect in any way the subordinate units...does it affect their morale?

Phoenix100 -> RE: Rout Behavior (1/10/2013 3:24:23 PM)

Didn't Dave answer that question further up this thread?

wdkruger -> RE: Rout Behavior (1/10/2013 3:46:09 PM)

I might be blind, but I don't see this addressed.

Phoenix100 -> RE: Rout Behavior (1/10/2013 4:00:15 PM)

It's more likely me that's blind.

He said; 'First off the presence or otherwise of other friendly forces is not going to slow down the routing unit.' And, 'I agree that routing units moving through non routing friendly units should have a chance of being stopped but history is full of examples where not only were they not stopped but the formed unit actually was affected by the routers and it too routed off. So at best it should only be a chance not a certainty. I will see what we can do.' And 'subordinates do not follow routing superiors. They will continue with their existing orders or until the superior replans.'

And from the discussion that followed these remarks - a propos of Panther possibly changing things - I thought he meant that a routing unit doesn't have an effect on other units and vice versa, even though it 'should'. Maybe I'm jumping the gun. Dave will have to clarify, I think.

Phoenix100 -> RE: Rout Behavior (1/10/2013 4:01:58 PM)

Ah. Now I put my brain in gear I see all his comments were about the affects of other units on a routing unit, not vice versa. So, yes, I too wonder what the position is...

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