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Combat - 7/27/2006 4:22:12 AM   
Deathtreader


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Hi all,

Will the engine reward the use of combined arms tactics, multiple hex attacks etc. Would there be seperate benefits(?) for attacking sequentially from 3 adjacent hexes as opposed to attacking from all 3 at once? I guess its the usual slew about combat mechanics.......

Really looking forward to this one!!

Rob.


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RE: Combat - 7/27/2006 9:22:10 PM   
hank

 

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I'm an old BiN player who's been on vacation from it for a year or so.  I see this new game coming out and it looks quite interesting.  I see they added in some features I thought BiN/BiI was lacking like HQ units, direct fire and additional indirect fire capabilities plus lots of other goodies.  Looks great.

The one thing I would like to know is if the combat resolution engine that uses die rolls has been revised/changed/ looked at/etc ??

This is one thing that pushed me away from BiN.  In many many games agaisnt both AI and PBEM opponents, the die roll was so erratic it could literally take the outcome of the game away from the player regardless of how well he played.  

If a player practices good tactics/strategies the die rolls should not take victory away from him if he's out played his opponent.  Of course this is just IMHO, but the die rolls carried too much weight in deciding the outcome of the assaults.

This is a beautiful game and I look forward to its release but if this one aspect hasn't had a good look at or its net effect on assault outcomes is reduced, I can't spend the money on it even with all the other goodies they've added to it.  It was quite frustrating to build overpowering assaults and even very strong ones and have the game generate snake eyes or a 2+1 ... over and over and over.  ... kindof disheartening

my $0.02

I look forward to comments because I loved playing BiN ...

hank

(in reply to Deathtreader)
Post #: 2
RE: Combat - 7/28/2006 3:48:57 AM   
Gregor_SSG


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In my experience, one of the hardest parts of my job is talking to gamers about probability, and how it is expressed through games. Many gamers, in their heart of hearts, believe that game designers are part of a nefarious but universal conspiracy to frustrate player's otherwise perfect strategies and bring them all to an early death through sheer frustration.

Needless to say, we reject those charges. Apart from anything else, the genre cannot afford to lose a single customer!

More seriously, I would say two things. One is that things always go wrong, at every scale, in any military undertaking. The other is that if you've got 10:1 odds then even if things don't go perfectly this turn, the bad guys are probably still in deep trouble next turn.

As to the specifics in Battlefront, you will have seen in the designer notes mention of the Special Attack function. This is not limited to historical examples such as Banzai attacks, it can be used in a more general sense to indicate attacks of crucial importance where everything, including the kitchen sink, is thrown into the fight.

For example, in the Market Garden scenario, XXX Corps has an unlimited number of special attacks on Turn 1. The forces opposing them at the very start of their attack were so weak that there was no way they could hold off XXX Corps. The unlimited special attacks mean that there isn't even a mathematical possibility of this happening.

Of course, this happy state of affairs for XXX corps doesn't last, but they still get one or two special attacks each turn thereafter. This means that if you come upon a stubborn German infantry company that is sitting on the one bridge hex that is vital to the entire advance, you can use the special attack to make sure that they are ejected.

The allocation and effect of special attacks, and indeed the variability in the Combat Results Table are all under the control of the scenario designer, so even if you don't like the choices they have made, you can easily change them.

Gregor

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(in reply to hank)
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RE: Combat - 7/28/2006 4:32:54 PM   
hank

 

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I would like to see how the random number is generated AND how and when it is seeded. 
This was never presented on the forums as far as I know (but then its been a while since I read through the SSG forums)

I understand there can be an assault that goes badly and you lose it against what should be an overwhelming win.  Its the repetitive die rolls of snake eyes or 3 that do occur consistently in the most critical assaults that got my attention.  I even had one guy tell me not to use the Combat Advisor before an assault because it does something to how the Random number seeding (1-6) is generated for each dice roll.  I was grasping for straws on this issue for a year or more.

Is there a forum post or a place on any web site where the method for generating the die rolls is described?
This is such an important part of this game.


(in reply to Gregor_SSG)
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RE: Combat - 7/28/2006 5:20:06 PM   
Capitaine

 

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I could be wrong, hank, but I believe all games use a similar random number generator to decide results whether or not it's shown visually. I prefer to see the actual "roll" since it confirms whether my results were bad luck or bad planning. As in all wargames, the trick is to achieve the odds where only good and/or acceptable results can occur, and plan on the worst so you don't get wrapped up in hoping for that certain optimal result. And at higher odds, as Gregor states, the only issues are whether the attacker sustains a loss as well as the defender. Just don't make low odds attacks that depend on luck.

I know you likely know all this, but that's really just the nature of the beast. Of course, if you really suspect that the SSG random number generator is broken, that's something else entirely...

(in reply to hank)
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RE: Combat - 7/28/2006 5:30:18 PM   
hank

 

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Most of my grief came in overwhelming odds attack where only a snake eye or 3 (2+1) would negate the attack.  I always had a tendency to pile on resources for a critical assault.  These overrun situations is where the low die rolls occurred over and over.  Many of my lower to middle risk attacks would tend to come out with die rolls of 5 to 9 or so which would knock steps off your opponent or cause a retreat.  It was just weird ... I actually go to where when I hit the resolve button I would cringe or look away or close my eyes cause I knew it was going to be bad.  hehehe

I hear what you say about the random number generator.  There's many ways to do this and I would like to see how SSG does it.  I've worked in engineering for 30 years ... in all that time I've had to study stats for estimating purposes and I learned there' smore than one way to generate a random number between limits.  That's what I've been after.  How?

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RE: Combat - 7/28/2006 8:17:37 PM   
JSS

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: hank

I hear what you say about the random number generator.  There's many ways to do this and I would like to see how SSG does it.  I've worked in engineering for 30 years ... in all that time I've had to study stats for estimating purposes and I learned there' smore than one way to generate a random number between limits.  That's what I've been after.  How?


Hank,

What's been stated publically is that the game has a seed value and then a randomly generated number string that's followed (that's why Run5 uses a tournament mode start game file... everyone gets the same seed). Certain (undefined) actions cause the next number from the string to be used. Have heard that CA is one but I don't know for sure. Think your computer itself also plays a part. I get better combat results on my desk top than I do on my laptop.

It also appears to me that units and strongpoints also are assigned some type of seed value. In select games of BIN I've had multiple 1's against certain strongpoints (repeated misses by 2+ and 3+ naval bombardments and then a "1" when I finally use combat units to overrun it). Had a 3 step unit in TAO4 that took almost 20 die throws to kill. Of course the tough to kill BiN strongpoints only show up about 1 in 1000 times I'd say. The hard to kill unit was a 1-100,000+ occurrence.

Technique also plays into this. Tempest repeatedly uses lower odds attacks with 4/6 chances of success. When you pile on combat power and get the 5/6 odds this just magnifies the pain of a "1"...

JSS

(in reply to hank)
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RE: Combat - 7/28/2006 11:07:29 PM   
hank

 

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Thanks jss, I'll cool out on the die roll thing.  I suspected computers may have affected the die roll but I couldn't prove it.  Again its just my recollection and I didn't have the time to stop and do tests.  I should have but work gets in the way much of the time.

I always tried to attack with those 4/5 and 5/6 odds and sometimes I'd hit the jackpot.  I played tempest in my first tourney game ... what a draw.  He played axis in tao.  I don't need to say I got walked all over.  ... and his first move had lots of low odds attacks most of which he nailed ... and I failed ... miserably.

regards
Hank


(in reply to JSS)
Post #: 8
RE: Combat - 7/29/2006 3:22:55 PM   
Der Oberst


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quote:

ORIGINAL: JSS

Think your computer itself also plays a part. I get better combat results on my desk top than I do on my laptop.




If this is true then does this mean "he with the fastest machine wins?"





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RE: Combat - 7/29/2006 7:36:50 PM   
Awac835


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In my introduction course to programming we had a brief talk about random numbers. And really i find it hard to belive that the numbers shouldnt be random. When you talk about random numbers on a computer you have to know on what scale your planning to use your number generator. At some point the same numbers will start rolling back in the eqation and thats a problem. But i doubt that will happen with the amount of rolls in your average DB or BF game. We are talking millions.

I just think you tend to remember the bad ones and not the good ones.

(in reply to Der Oberst)
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RE: Combat - 7/30/2006 5:58:27 PM   
hank

 

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Its when the bad rolls occur 90% of the time on the critical assaults ... but they happen only 30% of the time on non-critical assaults that it really starts to stick to memory.  I even tried making my less important attacks at first then the real important attacks near the end of the turn and that didn't work either.  It seemed to know when I needed at least a 3/4 or 4/5 roll of the dice to achieve my minimum goals for that attack. 

Like I mentioned before I haven't conducted any serious tests.  This goes from memory of many games gone awry due to critical assaults being negated by snake eyes ... over and over.

I'll most likely drop this issue ... I'm getting the same answers I've gotten before.  This is only one factor that will factor in to whether I upgrade or not.

(in reply to Awac835)
Post #: 11
RE: Combat - 7/31/2006 2:47:40 AM   
Joe 98


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My dice are much the same as Hank's 

( except for one wonderful unforgettable series of dice rolls against Hank     )

The critical dice generally fail and the unimportant ones generally succeed. And my opponents have excactly the opposite.  It comes down to dice instead of good play.





(in reply to hank)
Post #: 12
RE: Combat - 7/31/2006 8:23:42 PM   
hank

 

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Gosh!!! Its so nice to know you're not alone. 


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Post #: 13
RE: Combat - 8/1/2006 9:27:05 AM   
Gregor_SSG


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Just for the record. The dice routines don't 'know' if they're rolling dice for human or AI, or for combat or weather. They just simulate dice rolls. All apparent patterns are explained by the natural skew of human memory. Our brains are bombarded with sensation and incident every day and we can't remember them all.

We are naturally biased to remember negative events, since, remembering negative events has a higher survival value. Our ancestors who remembered the one ambush by a leopard at the water hole, and approached cautiously or let a hopeless optimist go first lived longer than the aforementioned optimists.

So please trust us when say that there are no leopards concealed in our dice routines (though we can't positively assert that there are no Panthers or Tigers).

Gregor

_____________________________

Vice President, Strategic Studies Group
See http://www.ssg.com.au and http://www.ssg.com.au/forums/
for info and free scenarios.

(in reply to hank)
Post #: 14
RE: Combat - 8/1/2006 10:02:58 AM   
Joe 98


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Its OK we believe you. Its just that some of us have almost continous poor dice rolls.

When I play a good player his dice are average but he gets the required dice at just the right moment.


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RE: Combat - 8/1/2006 4:41:41 PM   
Arinvald


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When I was much younger, I had a good friend who played board wargames with me quite often. He had to be the most consistently bad die roller I have ever seen. It was almost mathematicly impossible. He would get so frustrated and of course lost about 95% of our matches. I would not have believed that someone could roll such horrid dice if I hadn't seen it myself.

I too have have seen the kind of die rolling that is mentioned in this thread and at first thought it had to be an AI crutch, but I made a real effort to remember the times that I got a lucky roll on a critical attack with only decent odds and it seems to happen only slightly less than the AI pulling off a galant last stand. I have to believe the Devs and simply chalk up my bad rolls to a fit of what I call Danitis; after my luckless friend of so many years ago.

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RE: Combat - 8/2/2006 4:14:30 PM   
hank

 

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I had to reload BiN for some reminiscing on what I've been talking about since I became aware of BF.  I had it removed from my puter for months now.

Dang BiN is a nice game.  There are a few things that I wish were different in BF but I may still jump on it ... now that I'm  reminded how much I like playing BiN.

(in reply to Arinvald)
Post #: 17
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