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Too much armor... - 2/21/2007 12:47:28 AM   
Uncle_Joe


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Hi all,

Well, I've been playing through the GC and I downloaded and played through about half of the West Front GC. And the problem in both is the same...too much armor. Its ridiculous how much armor supports a few squads. I'll kill 3-4 AFVs (mish-mash of tanks, assault guns, SPA etc) and next battle there'll be just as many or more. What the point of having a 'point cost' if the attacker is always going to have enough to just throw more and more out there each battle?

The battles are about the same...a 2-3 minute tank/AT gun orgy followed by the winner dominating the field by moving a few squads, drawing fire and then annihilating anything that shoots with a few AFV attacks.

Not only are AFVs too prevalent at this scale IMO, they are far too powerful. They can often annihilate or render combat ineffective an entire squad in one shot. It doesnt help that for some reason the squad members are lined up almost shoulder to shoulder like they are Napoleonic infantry. Even in 'Ambush' mode they are huddled together like sheep to be slaughter by a single HE round or a few bursts of MG fire.

I know there is a 'Real Infantry' mod to be released soon, but that is not the solution IMO. Its not that I mind having a few tanks in support here and there and I dont even mind larger AFVs getting involved from time to time. But instead of it feeling like an infantry game with tank support it feels like an armor game with infantry support. And the armor modeling is NOT this engine's strong suit IMO. So why hand out so many points each battle (to one side or the other....some times both) so as to virtually ensure that there will be copious amounts of armor on the field every battle?

To me, it feels very much like 'Hollywood' combat. The tanks fire and 5 guys scream and die. An MG opens up and a pile of men drop like flies. The engine feels entirely too lethal...entire battalions would be virtually obliterated in minutes if actual combat was a bloody as the game is.

IMO, the best thing that could be done for this game would be to slow down the casualty and spotting rates a bit. And then reduce the number of points each battle so that armor is a support unit, but not present in near company size supporting a few rag-tag fireteams and MGs.

Again, I dont mind armor in the battles and it certainly has its place on the battlefield, but it shouldnt be the most common unit in a game at this scale.

Just my $.02.

Post #: 1
RE: Too much armor... - 2/21/2007 1:23:03 AM   
Uncle_Joe


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This is a screenshot I just took of a battle I'm playing. This is ONE AREA on the field. The AI has 5 AFVs all huddled together and thrashing around like bumper cars.

Note that there are 3 other AI AFVs in this battle too. Grand total of:

2x Priest
1x M12
1x Greyhound
1x Sherman 105
2x Sherman

And this is after losing 3 AFVs in the last battle. Its been almost every battle this way...masses of enemy AFVs, a smattering of infantry.

The pathing and AI do NOT play to the strength of armor in this game...at all. Bumper-cars is an apt description IMO. I cannot understand why an infantry game with poor armor AI and pathfinding would encourage (actually force) the game to come down to tank orgies.




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RE: Too much armor... - 2/21/2007 2:17:57 AM   
billiard

 

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That was another area I liked about CCII - you had only so many "slots" for support, the rest were infantry. I found with my CCIII campaigns that I'd "hog" the big tanks to combat exactly what you speak of - the AI's propensity toward tanks. By the end of a grand campaign, I'd be down to 3 or 4 infantry teams and a Wurframen with the rest reserved for the Heavy tanks and Heavy tank destroyers just so I could keep up with the AI. When you add in the CCIII "cheat" (I don't know if COI has this or not) in which, if you'd decimated the AI team last campaign, they'd get the full recquisition points whilst you were limited to 50. I guess it was needed for game balance, but it sure was frustrating after a few operations.

No answers from me, just commiseration (and regarding CCIII, not even COI).

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RE: Too much armor... - 2/21/2007 4:35:58 AM   
Tactics


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What's the status on Real Infantry? 

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RE: Too much armor... - 2/21/2007 5:19:44 AM   
Andrew Williams


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In process.

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RE: Too much armor... - 2/21/2007 5:38:02 AM   
Uncle_Joe


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Isnt it just possible to limit the QUANTITY, not quality of armor present? Are there really hardcoded handicaps that hand out points like candy and allow mass armor? Thats fairly silly if true.

I'd like to have the same potential forces as the standard games, but just less capacity to see the massed armor, particularly from the inept AI.

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That's what sub-mods are for - 2/21/2007 7:02:53 AM   
Comrade_Blabsky

 

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The great range of units is part of the charm, but a long-known problem with the game engine is the tendency to purchase as much armor as possible (AI that is). In H2H the players can make rules on limits, but the AI is armor and heavy support greedy.

The availability mechanism is easily maniupulated however. And using Q-Clone (I believe this works with CoI, right?) you can set the availability to 0 through any or all of the seasons on the RU- and GETeams texts. Even setting all the tanks to "1" in those slots will cause the AI to purchase one of each if the difficulty slider allows it. And if tanks are not available, the AI will purchase every ATG and inf gun it can. And halftracks. So even the old Real Infantry is not quite balanced enough.

Another issue is team size vs cover. Many of WF's teams are the full 10 men, and it is hard to find effective cover on many maps. The guys that can't fit into cover get shredded. A small teams (only a limited availabilty of 7-man teams, mostly 3 or 4 man) version of WF, thinking in platoon rather than company size engagement, worked real well in CC3 and would probably be a good thing to try with the improved action of CoI. The most prevelant tank on either side set to 1 or 2, along with limited availability of AFV's and ATG's is a suggestion.

So Uncle Joe, have some patience, wait for some mods, or get into modding the way most of us did: To tweak the game the way you want it.


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RE: That's what sub-mods are for - 2/21/2007 8:56:17 AM   
Knu

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Comrade_Blabsky
The availability mechanism is easily maniupulated however. And using Q-Clone (I believe this works with CoI, right?) you can set the availability to 0 through any or all of the seasons on the RU- and GETeams texts. Even setting all the tanks to "1" in those slots will cause the AI to purchase one of each if the difficulty slider allows it. And if tanks are not available, the AI will purchase every ATG and inf gun it can. And halftracks. So even the old Real Infantry is not quite balanced enough.


Hello

Can I this way remove all armored vehicles and most of the heavy guns from the game? Perhaps there is a mod like this already?

I would be interested of seeing only infantry available. I thought to try to Suomi-mod, but Russians still buy every vehicle that they just can get their hands on, even when the vehicles are completely useless. Playing with Russians perhaps would work, as Finns do not have too much armor available, although I'm sure the AI would spend all of its points to a one single tank.

That's why I would like to remove everything else from the game, exept infantry.

Is there any instructions how to start modding the game like this?

Kimmo

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RE: That's what sub-mods are for - 2/21/2007 10:27:47 AM   
Uncle_Joe


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quote:

The great range of units is part of the charm, but a long-known problem with the game engine is the tendency to purchase as much armor as possible (AI that is)


This is what I find so disappointing, I guess. It HAS been a long-known problem, so I suppose I was hoping that this would be one of the items actually fixed or tweaked in the re-release.

To me, this would have gone a LONG way towards freshening up the game. Its been quite a while since I played CC3, and now I already remember why I stopped. It just becomes silly when its an armor game with this engine. My hope would have been that if anything were to be updated, it would have been the routines that force the game to be armor-centric when the game's engine is not set up for that AT ALL.

Ah well, I'll keep an eye on the mods, but really if this is some sort of hardcoded AI pick problem (and point problem), I dont see what mods can really do outside of banning the armor altogether.

Thanks for the modding suggestions though. I might eventually decide to try and tinker with it.

(in reply to Knu)
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RE: That's what sub-mods are for - 2/21/2007 5:15:30 PM   
Lincolns Mullet

 

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Meh, that's too bad to hear. This was the reason I stopped playing CC3 and went back to CC2. I enjoy infantry combat with limited support, just a personal preference.

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RE: That's what sub-mods are for - 2/21/2007 8:01:12 PM   
Knu

 

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Well I actually went and modded the GETeams.txt and RUTeams.txt.

After few trials and errors found the columns which I need to modify, to remove all vehicles.

It is a hard fight now, as only infantry, machine guns, mortars and infantry guns remain. Had real difficulties with the first operation from Grand Campaign.

Of course the requisition points are now a bit off (too many of them), but I'm not sure if I'll change those, as losses at least for the attacker are quite heavy.

Now if I can only find where to change the rank level, to give the AI all of the slots available.

Kimmo

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RE: That's what sub-mods are for - 2/21/2007 9:40:51 PM   
Beeblebrox

 

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quote:

Now if I can only find where to change the rank level, to give the AI all of the slots available
Copy the Operation file from the Data\Camp_ops Folder to the Games\Battles Folder.  Edit it using CoI "Battlemaker".  Copy the modified Operation back to the Data\Camp_Ops Folder.  I guess you would only need to change the first one?

If you want to change any of the Historical Operations (these files are not used by a Campaign), then do the same except from the Data\Ops Folder.

It probably doesn't need saying about backup and liability?

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RE: That's what sub-mods are for - 2/21/2007 10:53:58 PM   
Uncle_Joe


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Beeblebrox:

Can you please comment on whether the AI (or another human player for that matter) does indeed get 'crutch points' that are outside of the scenario's parameters.

I have no problem going through the work of going in and modifying all of the Campaign Scenarios to reduce the points if that will reduce the amount of armor on the field. But I dont want to go through that work if there is something that is essentially hardcoded that will still give the AI piles of points with which to turn it into a tank game again.

Thanks for any info!

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RE: That's what sub-mods are for - 2/21/2007 11:02:28 PM   
UndercoverNotChickenSalad


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Its the squeaky wheel that gets all the goods.  So I chime in tosay I like the game as it is.  Ppl who don't use armor as a support role one v one get 0wN3d.  Buying up all good tanks then thinking ull beat a human like a step child is a bad idea.  I'm far from the best player here I'm sure of it, but I've played 100s of online games.  Mostly if your armor is seen, its soon to be dead.  Any good player will have AT assets to a point where you aint going to advance on him w/o infantry.  You could give a good player millions of dollars to buy whatever he wants, he'd still come at you w/ a mix of armor/art/inf.  It would change the quality of his gear, but he'll still come at you a mix. 


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RE: That's what sub-mods are for - 2/21/2007 11:04:35 PM   
UndercoverNotChickenSalad


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He'll spot AT w/ his inf, plaster it w/ mortars, then cautiosly advance his armor.

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RE: That's what sub-mods are for - 2/21/2007 11:36:01 PM   
Frank McNally

 

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But given the enough points you will bring ~2-4 inf and the balance the best armour with perhaps a mobile mortar or 2.  If points are short you might by AT capacity other than vehicles.  If you go short on your armour you are toast. 
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RE: That's what sub-mods are for - 2/21/2007 11:47:09 PM   
Uncle_Joe


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quote:

Buying up all good tanks then thinking ull beat a human like a step child is a bad idea.  I'm far from the best player here I'm sure of it, but I've played 100s of online games. 


I beginning to think that this is NOT a human vs human problem at all. If what I read above is correct, then its the AI's pick strategies and the 'crutch points' being thrown at it. In human vs human play, it doesnt appear that there will be enough points available to spam armor the way the AI does.

At any rate, I'm referring to the campaign here, which I doubt is played too terribly often by human vs human compared to scenarios or ops.

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Armor and heavy support - 2/22/2007 1:27:06 AM   
Comrade_Blabsky

 

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The AI just buys the heaviest weapons it can, often at the expense of an otherwise empty roster. Because CoI is essentially a re-release, there's just a question of how much can be changed (and who pays for the programming).

H2H no problem. Say no more than 2-3 AFV's or something. Or 2 Panthers max versus 4 MkIV's. House rules are a long time practice. (Oxcart would never let me use rockets against him in the Vietnam mod.)

The rarity tables can be adjusted to any taste for a solo campaign. As Knu has pointed out, however, there may be some issues with points, but at least both sides are affected. (Knu, you may want to decrease the rarity numbers slightly for halftracks, ATG's, mortars, and MG teams.)


I've had CC3 on my computers for years, and played ungodly amounts of hours using custom campaigns, with teams files edited to provide the kinds of forces I wanted to see. It's not rocket science, it's just typing.





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RE: Armor and heavy support - 2/22/2007 2:22:27 AM   
Beeblebrox

 

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quote:

Beeblebrox:

Can you please comment on whether the AI (or another human player for that matter) does indeed get 'crutch points' that are outside of the scenario's parameters.

I have no problem going through the work of going in and modifying all of the Campaign Scenarios to reduce the points if that will reduce the amount of armor on the field. But I dont want to go through that work if there is something that is essentially hardcoded that will still give the AI piles of points with which to turn it into a tank game again.

Thanks for any info!
Though there are many things I do know about, alas!, there are also things that I don't .  The propensity of the AI to buy up heavy is a hard coded feature in the game which can be moderated in ways already being suggested, but not changed under the hood.


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RE: Armor and heavy support - 2/22/2007 2:40:44 AM   
Uncle_Joe


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quote:

The propensity of the AI to buy up heavy is a hard coded feature in the game which can be moderated in ways already being suggested, but not changed under the hood.


OK thanks. But what I'm looking for is whether adjusting the points in the Campaign Ops is going to 'fix' this problem or is the AI just going to be given more 'free' points whenever it loses the previous tanks.

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RE: Armor and heavy support - 2/22/2007 5:17:54 AM   
Comrade_Blabsky

 

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BULLETIN!

I have been advised NOT to suggest using Q-Clone for modding.

I do assume, however, that simple modding tools will soon be available as the details get worked out. So we'll have a lot of questions here in the next few weeks.

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RE: Armor and heavy support - 2/22/2007 5:22:02 AM   
Uncle_Joe


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Using the procedure outlined by Beeblebrox, I can quite easily edit scenarios for the campaign and make massed armor unlikely via reducing the points. No tools required. :) The question is still whether this actually prevents the problem or if some hardcoded 'handicaps' kick in and allow the points for the AI to spam armor despite attempts to prevent it.

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RE: Armor and heavy support - 2/22/2007 7:40:34 AM   
Knu

 

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Hello

Beeblebrox: Thanks for instructions how to raise the AI rank. I'll try that.

Comrade_Blabsky: I was thinking perhaps of raising the cost for infantry units say with 5 to 15 points each, or alternatively lowering the requisition points by editing the operations. I currently left the rarity numbers as they were, but was also thinking of lowering them a bit perhaps for mortars, machine guns and infantry guns. I didn't left any halftracks either to the game, it is just an infantry battle now and I'm enjoying the game at last!

I still own the "original" CCIII and actually played it again during the last autumn. Now that I have no vehicles in the game, I witnessed probably for the first time the AI using snipers. Was really surprised about that! Or perhaps there has been snipers before, but they have gotten killed really quickly...

Uncle_Joe: Like I mentioned about the Suomi-mod (Winter War & Continuation War), the Russian AI still buys every vehicle it just can, no matter how useless they are. A four T-20's is a rather funny force to attack :) You can kill them with a rifle...

That's why I removed every vehicle. I was expecting the AI to spend then all points to infantry guns but no, I only found (and got killed) one infantry gun, while trying to run to a cover in a house, from where the gun opened fire.

I just wish I would have tried to mod the game a bit before. I probably would not own any other games than all of the Close Combats, if I would have done this earlier. I have always hated the armor heavy AI, even with CCII, there was too much armor for my liking.

Kimmo

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RE: Armor and heavy support - 2/22/2007 9:01:58 AM   
Andrew Williams


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I like heavy metal

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RE: Armor and heavy support - 2/23/2007 6:05:47 PM   
Prince of Eckmühl


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quote:

ORIGINAL: schrecken

I like heavy metal

Playing MMCC3, the Reds get TOO many KV1, three, four, five a scenario.

The Nazee OB affords them no such luxury.

This makes it really, really hard to attack when that armour camps out on the objectives.

The affect is so pronounced as to sort of spoil the game.

PoE (aka ivanmoe)



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RE: Armor and heavy support - 2/23/2007 6:41:33 PM   
KWP

 

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You need to be bloodthirsty when you knock out an enemy tank. Go for a kill on the crew after it bails. This makes it cost more to replace plus helps to diminish the units availability in the requisition pool.

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RE: Armor and heavy support - 2/23/2007 7:55:01 PM   
Uncle_Joe


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quote:

You need to be bloodthirsty when you knock out an enemy tank. Go for a kill on the crew after it bails. This makes it cost more to replace plus helps to diminish the units availability in the requisition pool.


And thats my question from above. Is killing those crews etc really helping anything? If the AI is getting free 'crutch points' then its not helping (and might be hurting). I've looked through the Campaign Ops and I dont see any way that the AIs should have enough normal points to buy the ridiculous amounts of armor that it does (especially given its loss rates).

So it seems almost like a 'cheat' to give the AI points. And that kills the game for me because I dont feel like killing the enemy's stuff has any long-term effect whatsoever. It will always have plenty of points to spam the map with tons of heavy armor.

If I could ask for ONE patch request, it would be the option to remove this 'feature'. If I want more of a challenge, I can always move the difficulty slider or adjust the points down for the side I am playing. But the 'crutch points' really ruin the game IMO.

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RE: Armor and heavy support - 2/23/2007 8:01:56 PM   
Cathartes

 

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Uncle Joe,
Is the screenshot you posted from COI?  Could you resolve the quality/or post new one with same tanks if it is.  Or could someone post screenshot of Shermans? They look a little familiar, but I could be mistaken.

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RE: Armor and heavy support - 2/23/2007 8:15:57 PM   
KWP

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Uncle_Joe

quote:

You need to be bloodthirsty when you knock out an enemy tank. Go for a kill on the crew after it bails. This makes it cost more to replace plus helps to diminish the units availability in the requisition pool.


And thats my question from above. Is killing those crews etc really helping anything? If the AI is getting free 'crutch points' then its not helping (and might be hurting). I've looked through the Campaign Ops and I dont see any way that the AIs should have enough normal points to buy the ridiculous amounts of armor that it does (especially given its loss rates).

So it seems almost like a 'cheat' to give the AI points. And that kills the game for me because I dont feel like killing the enemy's stuff has any long-term effect whatsoever. It will always have plenty of points to spam the map with tons of heavy armor.

If I could ask for ONE patch request, it would be the option to remove this 'feature'. If I want more of a challenge, I can always move the difficulty slider or adjust the points down for the side I am playing. But the 'crutch points' really ruin the game IMO.


Once upon a time there was an explanation on the point system that went something like this:

http://users.stargate.net/~mcconmy/Req.htm

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RE: Armor and heavy support - 2/23/2007 9:03:14 PM   
Uncle_Joe


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Yes, the screenshot if from CoI with the West Front mod installed.

Here is a smaller pic. Its not really too much clearer though. Unfortunately this forum doesnt allow for higher quality pics from what I can I see.




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