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What is DF???

 
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What is DF??? - 10/30/2007 4:06:04 AM   
AdamRinkleff

 

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What exactly is the DF value, and how does it play in combat? Is it their AP value when defending? If tanks only receive fire against their armor value, then why do they have a DF value at all? Why do all the guns have DF values of 1? I don't get it...

< Message edited by AdamRinkleff -- 10/30/2007 4:32:50 AM >
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RE: What is DF??? - 10/30/2007 6:44:00 AM   
JAMiAM

 

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Very good question. Before I give you the answer, let me relate a tale...

When I was a young lad, I was the inquisitive sort. I often drove my parents parents crazy with my incessant questioning. My father took to drink and my mother resorted to throwing teacups at my head. My favorite question, I suppose, was "what is this for?" My mother would answer, at least when she was in one of her more charitable moods, or out of teacups, that "'this' is to make little boys ask questions."

I'll leave you with that, for now, so that I can get some speculation going here. The answer is conceptually very simple however, though not entirely self-evident without a good understanding of how TOAW's engine generate combat results. I'll toss out a better answer tomorrow, after we've had time to ruminate and compose...

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RE: What is DF??? - 10/30/2007 9:48:28 AM   
sPzAbt653


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I'd like to give an answer we always use where I work ... 'It depends'.

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RE: What is DF??? - 10/31/2007 12:35:17 AM   
vahauser


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AdamRinkleff,

Aside from Norm, I'm not sure anybody knows the answers to your questions. 

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RE: What is DF??? - 10/31/2007 1:45:03 AM   
JAMiAM

 

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The defense factor is a number that, for the vast majority of equipment types, is scaled from 1-10 and represents a rough ability of that equipment to absorb firepower without being destroyed. Equipment is defined here, as items within the database, whether they are multi-man items like squads and teams, or singleton items like AFV's, and Guns, which also may be multi-man operated. Thus, you have guns which will be inoperable after a single direct hit having a DF of 1, unarmored vehicles with DF's of 1-2, untrained squads about 3-4, AFV's between 5-8, and trained infantry squads with DF's of 10.

Some airframes, most notably more modern pieces, and ships are the exception to this general rule, and scale higher.

It is important to understand the way that combat works in TOAW. In all fires, the number of shots fired at a force is determined by an attritional formula. Without revealing any exact formulae, it should suffice to visualize a number consisting of the sum of all firing equipment attack factors, divided by the sum of all defense factors as the basic attritional variable. This can then be modified further by deployment, terrain, special abilities, scales, attrition divider, target density, etc. These variations can be applied at the level of individual pieces, dependent on the conditions of the firing, and receiving units.

Now, this attritional value, call it A, then drives the calculations for how many shots are received by the opposing force. In AP combat, whether bombardment, or direct fire, all shots are considered lethal. This is true, as well, for the ten percent of AP fire strength that is applicable to armored targets, and bypasses the anti-armor calculations, and results in lethal hits. In anti-armor combat there are two additional calculations. The first is based on conditions in the receiving unit's hex, and is modified by the RCSB factor (a multiplier) which will determine if the shot "hits" the target. This is illustrated by the visibility/targetting matrix in the appendices. The second, is the chance to penetrate, which is also explained in the appendices. In TOAW III, the armor value also undergoes a weighted randomization to determine whether the hit was against frontal armor, or side armor, and at what angle of impact the hit took place. This modifies the chance to penetrate, as this changes the effective slope and thickness of the armor plate. Even after all of this, there are some chances for a hit piece to avoid destruction as it may "dodge" the hit (by virtue of its agile designation) or merely be damaged as opposed to being destroyed.

Anyhow, to reemphasize the third paragraph, when you see a terrain or deployment modifier working on the defense factor of equipment, this is changing the attritional value A applied against the unit. Multiplying the terms in the denominator by larger numbers, drives down A against the receiving unit. This makes the defender less likely to receive shots against its equipment. Modifiers to attack strengths of equipment are handled by multiplying the values in the numerator thereby increasing, or decreasing, A and the resultant number of shots against the receiving unit.

Hopefully, this helps explain what a DF is, and why changing numbers in the database without understanding the basic concept of TOAW's attritional model can lead to some pretty strange results if not done in a balanced, consistent, and well-tested fashion.

< Message edited by JAMiAM -- 10/31/2007 1:47:07 AM >

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RE: What is DF??? - 10/31/2007 10:21:18 AM   
vahauser


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JAMiAM,

That was an informative answer, but I don't think it addressed the original questions posed by AdamRinkleff.

For example, in TOAW III the Tiger IIB tank has an AT value = 19, an AP value = 220, an AA value = 1, a DF value = 75, a DF factor = 6, and an Armor rating = 19.

Note that the DF "Factor" of 6 can only be found on the Equipment List document and cannot be found anywhere on the BioEd.  But the DF "Value" of 75 can be found on the BioEd in Tab P1 but not on the Equipment List.

I think AdamRinkleff was confused about the differences between the DF "Value" of 75 and the DF "Factor" of 6 (in the Tiger IIB's case), and was asking about what purpose the DF "Value" of 75 serves in TOAW III as opposed to the DF "Factor" of 6. 

I admit that I'm as confused as AdamRinkleff about the differences between the DF Value and the DF Factor myself.  You mention that changing numbers in the BioEd without total understanding of what the numbers mean can cause unintended side effects. 

Since I'm working on a large revision of the BioEd for my WW2 database, I'm very interested in gaining as much understanding of the numbers as possible.  In this specific instance, the differences between the DF Value as found in the BioEd (but not in the Equipment List) and the DF Factor as shown in the Equipment List (but nowhere in the BioEd).

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RE: What is DF??? - 10/31/2007 3:27:33 PM   
Szilard

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: JAMiAM

The defense factor is a number that, for the vast majority of equipment types, is scaled from 1-10 and represents a rough ability of that equipment to absorb firepower without being destroyed. Equipment is defined here, as items within the database, whether they are multi-man items like squads and teams, or singleton items like AFV's, and Guns, which also may be multi-man operated. Thus, you have guns which will be inoperable after a single direct hit having a DF of 1, unarmored vehicles with DF's of 1-2, untrained squads about 3-4, AFV's between 5-8, and trained infantry squads with DF's of 10.

Some airframes, most notably more modern pieces, and ships are the exception to this general rule, and scale higher.

It is important to understand the way that combat works in TOAW. In all fires, the number of shots fired at a force is determined by an attritional formula. Without revealing any exact formulae, it should suffice to visualize a number consisting of the sum of all firing equipment attack factors, divided by the sum of all defense factors as the basic attritional variable. This can then be modified further by deployment, terrain, special abilities, scales, attrition divider, target density, etc. These variations can be applied at the level of individual pieces, dependent on the conditions of the firing, and receiving units.

Now, this attritional value, call it A, then drives the calculations for how many shots are received by the opposing force. In AP combat, whether bombardment, or direct fire, all shots are considered lethal. This is true, as well, for the ten percent of AP fire strength that is applicable to armored targets, and bypasses the anti-armor calculations, and results in lethal hits. In anti-armor combat there are two additional calculations. The first is based on conditions in the receiving unit's hex, and is modified by the RCSB factor (a multiplier) which will determine if the shot "hits" the target. This is illustrated by the visibility/targetting matrix in the appendices. The second, is the chance to penetrate, which is also explained in the appendices. In TOAW III, the armor value also undergoes a weighted randomization to determine whether the hit was against frontal armor, or side armor, and at what angle of impact the hit took place. This modifies the chance to penetrate, as this changes the effective slope and thickness of the armor plate. Even after all of this, there are some chances for a hit piece to avoid destruction as it may "dodge" the hit (by virtue of its agile designation) or merely be damaged as opposed to being destroyed.



My reaction to these kinds of descriptions of TOAW mechanics has always been, "And what is there to make me believe this isn't all just nonsense?" What's the model? How do I link it back to a real engagement at the division or whatever level? Surely the primary thing is really how much force can be organized to be in the right place at the right time - where do I see that in this mechanism?

The only answer is, I think, "Because it gives OK outcomes in the aggregrate." Which is fine, but there's noithing there to make me think it wouldn't have been just as good & a helluva lot simpler just to set some factors.


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RE: What is DF??? - 10/31/2007 5:58:18 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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quote:

ORIGINAL: vahauser

JAMiAM,

That was an informative answer, but I don't think it addressed the original questions posed by AdamRinkleff.

For example, in TOAW III the Tiger IIB tank has an AT value = 19, an AP value = 220, an AA value = 1, a DF value = 75, a DF factor = 6, and an Armor rating = 19.

Note that the DF "Factor" of 6 can only be found on the Equipment List document and cannot be found anywhere on the BioEd.  But the DF "Value" of 75 can be found on the BioEd in Tab P1 but not on the Equipment List.

I think AdamRinkleff was confused about the differences between the DF "Value" of 75 and the DF "Factor" of 6 (in the Tiger IIB's case), and was asking about what purpose the DF "Value" of 75 serves in TOAW III as opposed to the DF "Factor" of 6. 

I admit that I'm as confused as AdamRinkleff about the differences between the DF Value and the DF Factor myself.  You mention that changing numbers in the BioEd without total understanding of what the numbers mean can cause unintended side effects. 

Since I'm working on a large revision of the BioEd for my WW2 database, I'm very interested in gaining as much understanding of the numbers as possible.  In this specific instance, the differences between the DF Value as found in the BioEd (but not in the Equipment List) and the DF Factor as shown in the Equipment List (but nowhere in the BioEd).


As I wrote in the "How to..." doc for the BioEd:

A similar complication applies to the DF factor for armored vehicles. Their DF factor is actually calculated from their armor factor. The value in the DF database entry for such vehicles actually pertains to the vehicle weight, instead.

Further down in the document I also wrote:

Now, let’s look at some of the Tank issues hinted at above. Here I’ve selected the M4/76 Sherman. On the P1 sub-tab, note the DF value of 26. Users familiar with TOAW will know that the M4/76 Sherman has a DF of 5 and a weight of 19. As noted above, DF values are used for vehicle weight, not DF, in armored vehicles. Actual DF = 5 + Armor/10 (rounded down). (There are a few arcane exceptions, such as tanks with reactive armor and SP guns, but TOAW handles them for you – you just enter the armor value). While weight = 0.75 x DF value (rounded down). The units for this weight value strangely seem to be about 1656 Kg (I’m stumped about that too). These formulae have to be applied by the editor to get the right values in the game.

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RE: What is DF??? - 10/31/2007 6:04:10 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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quote:

ORIGINAL: AdamRinkleff

What exactly is the DF value, and how does it play in combat? Is it their AP value when defending? If tanks only receive fire against their armor value, then why do they have a DF value at all? Why do all the guns have DF values of 1? I don't get it...


So many of TOAW's parameters are arcane. I think Norm wanted it that way, and I think he was right. It's a good thing that it seems mysterious to everyone, because that's how combat really is. It can't be reduced to a formula or ratio.

But, if you really want to know more about how DF values impact combat, create your own test scenario and check it out. Use equipment that have the same AP but different DF strengths (use the BioEd if necessary) and compare how they fare in identical combat situations. If you're a really good fellow, you'll share the results with the rest of us.

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RE: What is DF??? - 10/31/2007 7:57:06 PM   
JAMiAM

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Szilard
My reaction to these kinds of descriptions of TOAW mechanics has always been, "And what is there to make me believe this isn't all just nonsense?"

Any game or simulation is going to require some level of active suspension of disbelief on the part of the player. If one is determined to be a die-hard skeptic, then he will never be satisfied with any level of simulation...

quote:

ORIGINAL: Szilard
What's the model?

I just explained the model. Apparently, what you want are the specific formulae.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Szilard
How do I link it back to a real engagement at the division or whatever level? Surely the primary thing is really how much force can be organized to be in the right place at the right time - where do I see that in this mechanism?

Virtually everything in the attritional model directly answers those questions. Any combat situation can be said to devolve into, and be represented by, a probabalistic model. There are X tank A, in sheltered terrain firing at Y tank B in the open. The crews of X tank A are better trained, supplied and prepared than the tired, disorganized mob of Y tank B. This is represented by the number of pieces of equipment in the respective units, terrain modifiers, unit proficiencies, supply states, and readiness, etc. When the actual firing occurs, in real-life, these factors play into the probability that people die, tanks get hit, and so on. In the game, as in real life, it is important to use the right combinations and levels of force to accomplish your operational goal - take the town, hold the forest crossroads, bypass enemy strongpoints, keep reserves, organize counterattacks, etc.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Szilard
The only answer is, I think, "Because it gives OK outcomes in the aggregrate."

...which, in my opinion, is the overriding concern in an operational level game.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Szilard
Which is fine, but there's noithing there to make me think it wouldn't have been just as good & a helluva lot simpler just to set some factors.

Indeed, it can always be made simpler. Would you prefer Tic-Tac-TOAW?...

However, jokes aside, I think that the current model gives a good balance of immersion, simulation, and playability. It should also be noted that you can play TOAW at various "levels" of involvement, or expertise. You can be a "panzer-pusher" and just put the units into position with a rough idea of relative strengths, as shown by the factors on the counters. Or, you can be a "micromanaging technician" and delve into the nuts and bolts, so that you can maximize the probability of succes of a large number of attacks over a varying set of conditions. The choice is yours. Every player will need to find their own "comfort zone" with regard to how they play TOAW, and needless to say, your mileage may vary...

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RE: What is DF??? - 10/31/2007 9:36:47 PM   
Jeff Norton


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Tic-tac-TOAW..... good one!

I'm on the opposite side of the scale - as long as the engine does what its supposed to, I'm good. I've played a few games where, it seems, the engine is weighted against me, only to find my basic strategy/tactics/methods were the root cause of failure, and not the game. Using better methods (and ample supply of art'y), I've *wised up*...

Darned smart guy, that Norm....

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RE: What is DF??? - 10/31/2007 9:40:44 PM   
vahauser


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AdamRinkleff,

So there you have your answers:  nobody knows (except maybe Norm).

Personally, the explanations provided in this thread are unsatisfactory to me.  My goal is to be able to create historically realistic TOAW III scenarios for the WW2 era specifically.  It is impossible to design such a scenario without knowing what the numbers mean.  Indeed, every player-designed scenario out there has been "shooting in the dark" because nobody knows what the numbers mean.

I am grateful for the BioEd because it at least allows me to change numbers that are obviously incorrect (such as the operational ranges for many/most WW2 aircraft).  But everything after that involves guesswork.  And when trying to develop a more comprehensive database for the WW2 era only (to design better, more historically realistic scenarios), then "suspension of disbelief" is a very unappealing approach to database construction and scenario design.

Anyway, Adam you asked some of the best questions I've ever seen on this forum.  Too bad nobody could give you some straight answers.

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RE: What is DF??? - 11/1/2007 7:01:17 PM   
vahauser


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AdamRinkleff,

I've been thinking about your questions some more.  I have a theory regarding your question about why all the equipment listed in the "Guns" section have a DF value of 1.

My theory has to do with the way TOAW looks at units in the game.  This is theory, not fact.  Anyway, according to my theory, certain classes of equipment (like guns or trucks or wagons, etc.) are not considered to be "positive contributors" to the direct defense of a unit.  By this I mean that a unit composed of 320 rifle squads + 100 trucks + 36 guns should not be considered to be superior defensively to a unit composed of 320 rifle squads alone.  This is only a theory.  So, in order to minimize the differences, then certain classes of equipment (like guns or trucks or wagons, etc.) are given a notional minimum intrinsic defensive value (i.e., 1).  That way a motorized-infantry division will not be intrinsically superior defensively to a non-motorized infantry division that has the same TO/E except for the trucks (e.g., the 1939 German motorized and non-motorized infantry divisions).

That is my theory.  It is only a theory and it might be completely incorrect.

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RE: What is DF??? - 11/2/2007 2:51:34 PM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: vahauser

My theory has to do with the way TOAW looks at units in the game.  This is theory, not fact.  Anyway, according to my theory, certain classes of equipment (like guns or trucks or wagons, etc.) are not considered to be "positive contributors" to the direct defense of a unit.  By this I mean that a unit composed of 320 rifle squads + 100 trucks + 36 guns should not be considered to be superior defensively to a unit composed of 320 rifle squads alone.


Well...these equipment types are classed as "passive defenders" (this is visible in the game and in the BioEd). This means two things:

a) they don't contribute to the ability of the unit to hold ground.
b) they are not subject to direct fire from enemy attacks unless the unit suffers from a flanking attack.

The reason these items have low defence ratings is that they are very vulnerable if exposed to fire, but are normally protected by their passive defender status.

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RE: What is DF??? - 11/2/2007 2:58:24 PM   
vahauser


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I guess that means that my theory is correct.  Kinda.  Sorta. Heh.

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RE: What is DF??? - 11/2/2007 8:44:10 PM   
ColinWright

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay


quote:

ORIGINAL: AdamRinkleff

What exactly is the DF value, and how does it play in combat? Is it their AP value when defending? If tanks only receive fire against their armor value, then why do they have a DF value at all? Why do all the guns have DF values of 1? I don't get it...


So many of TOAW's parameters are arcane. I think Norm wanted it that way, and I think he was right. It's a good thing that it seems mysterious to everyone, because that's how combat really is. It can't be reduced to a formula or ratio.


Yeah. At it's best, the game becomes one of assessing a field of more or less hazy data (that British tank Brigade probably is loaded with Matildas), considering the situation, and acting accordingly. It also pays off in spades if one analyzes ones own general strengths and weaknesses, the opponents general strengths and weaknesses, and acts accordingly. Sort of like real warfare, except you needn't fret about getting killed, and if you're stricken with indecision, stop the world until you've made up your mind.

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RE: What is DF??? - 11/2/2007 10:00:30 PM   
AdamRinkleff

 

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Long story short, I've been trying to edit the equipment database to get combat results to accord to what I think should happen in specific situations; in particular, I've been annoyed by a problematic situation where I clearly have overwhelming force, and I take the hex, but the attackers keep losing more troops than the defender, which makes attacking sort of pointless. And thus, I've been trying to understand why a machine-gun has a DF of 1, when machine-guns are obviously excellent defensive weapons, and it is all very confusing. It's fine and all when people say TOAW is "foggy" just like war; however, when you are making scenarios, you really need to know exactly what is going on, and be able to edit all the values.

quote:

I think Adam Rinkleff was confused about the differences between the DF "Value" of 75 and the DF "Factor" of 6 (in the Tiger IIB's case), and was asking about what purpose the DF "Value" of 75 serves in TOAW III as opposed to the DF "Factor" of 6.

Lol, I'm more confused now than before; I was definitely asking about the value, and I'm not even sure if I've ever seen the factor -- heh.

quote:

This is true, as well, for the ten percent of AP fire strength that is applicable to armored targets, and bypasses the anti-armor calculations, and results in lethal hits.

Hold on, infantry with no AT ability can still kill a tank? This is something I didn't know...

quote:

Anyway, Adam you asked some of the best questions I've ever seen on this forum. Too bad nobody could give you some straight answers.

Thanks! I get really annoyed when people suggest I try playing around with the scenario/equipment editors; I have been, and its irksome to do so. Frankly, although I love TOAW, I think the code is mangled and over-complex, the designers clearly aren't exactly sure how it works, and everyone is afraid to poke too deeply in case it collapses; as an example, consider the whole attrition multiplier/divider setting thing... did you know it affects artillery differently than normal units? Who would have known! It's not in the manual! Nobody knows why! But it does, so if you think TOAW is giving you too few casualties, and you adjust the slider scale, then all the sudden you have to go in and edit all the artillery in the equipment database... and before long, you come here wondering what the hell all these values are. At that point, you meet Jamiam who tells you that its all very complicated, and assures you that you can't possible be smart enough to comprehend what he does for a living. Granted, he can be helpful, but I get the impression that he deliberately limits his help, much like a math teacher who won't just give you the answer.

quote:

Anyway, according to my theory, certain classes of equipment (like guns or trucks or wagons, etc.) are not considered to be "positive contributors"... are given a notional minimum intrinsic defensive value (i.e., 1).

Yah, I was thinking it might be something like that; except, here is the thing, the machine-guns all have a DV of 1... and frankly, a machine-gun is far more useful as a defensive unit, than some lame light rifle squad. Jeez, even the porters have a DV of 2!

quote:

Without revealing any exact formulae...

Would you guys consider revealing exact formulae? There are a lot of intelligent scenario designers who want to help this program succeed, but sometimes we feel like the programmers are deliberately avoiding specific details which would help us to help you! I know there are complicated technical details involved, but some of us have studied complicated technical subjects.

< Message edited by AdamRinkleff -- 11/2/2007 10:28:38 PM >

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RE: What is DF??? - 11/2/2007 10:23:05 PM   
AdamRinkleff

 

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quote:

equipment types are classed as "passive defenders"

This is a whole different issue, but I hate how every "active defender" takes up a "concentration slot" -- like, maybe I want a unit to be an active defender and actively take fire, but maybe its a small unit and I don't think it should make the hex crowded... the point is, can we please have a way to edit how many active defenders can fit into a hex? Or maybe we could have a type of active defender that doesn't count for concentration?

Oh, and could we please have the ability to reduce the time of a turn, like to 5 minutes; and then, um, could we have something where all units, even infantry, are capable of long-range fire... cuz then we could do tactical scenarios. I know, I know, it's the 'operational' art of war -- but um, can we start thinking outside the box? And, and, and, here is a good one -- when two infantry divisions are sitting next to each other, turn after turn, shouldn't they be taking casualties even if they aren't actively attacking? And don't tell me to use pestilence, because that isn't the same at all.

< Message edited by AdamRinkleff -- 11/2/2007 10:26:37 PM >

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RE: What is DF??? - 11/2/2007 10:28:02 PM   
Veers


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quote:

ORIGINAL: AdamRinkleff
Oh, and could we please have the ability to reduce the time of a turn, like to 5 minutes; and then, um, could we have something where all units, even infantry, are capable of long-range fire... cuz then we could do tactical scenarios. I know, I know, it's the 'operational' art of war -- but um, can we start thinking outside the box?

Heh heh. It's been mentioned. Prepare to get crucified.

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RE: What is DF??? - 11/2/2007 10:31:10 PM   
AdamRinkleff

 

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quote:

Heh heh. It's been mentioned. Prepare to get crucified.

Seriously though, even at a multi-kilometer hex size, you can get infantry units with longrange equipment capable of multi-hex indirect fire; and yet, because of the fact that only artillery and HQ can conduct such missions, those units aren't able to use their weapons! If that were fixed, not only would it improve operational scenarios, but it would make tactical scenarios as simple as editing the calendar code.

Oh, and while I'm at it, although unsupplied units are supposed to lose a point of proficiency every 12 hours; during 6-hour turns, they never lose any proficiency. I mentioned this to Jamiam, but he didn't seem to understand why I thought that mattered so much.

< Message edited by AdamRinkleff -- 11/2/2007 10:33:39 PM >

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RE: What is DF??? - 11/2/2007 10:33:25 PM   
Veers


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quote:

ORIGINAL: AdamRinkleff

quote:

Heh heh. It's been mentioned. Prepare to get crucified.

Seriously though, even at a multi-kilometer hex size, you can get infantry units with longrange equipment capable of multi-hex indirect fire; and yet, because of the fact that only artillery and HQ can conduct such missions, those units aren't able to use their weapons! If that were fixed, not only would it improve operational scenarios, but it would make tactical scenarios as simple as editing the calendar code.

Oh I was serious. Poor White Rabbit has been harping on this for years and being ripped down about it for years.

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Post #: 21
RE: What is DF??? - 11/2/2007 10:53:41 PM   
JAMiAM

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: AdamRinkleff

Thanks! I get really annoyed when people suggest I try playing around with the scenario/equipment editors; I have been, and its irksome to do so. Frankly, although I love TOAW, I think the code is mangled and over-complex, the designers clearly aren't exactly sure how it works, and everyone is afraid to poke too deeply in case it collapses; as an example, consider the whole attrition multiplier/divider setting thing... did you know it affects artillery differently than normal units? Who would have known! It's not in the manual! Nobody knows why! But it does, so if you think TOAW is giving you too few casualties, and you adjust the slider scale, then all the sudden you have to go in and edit all the artillery in the equipment database... and before long, you come here wondering what the hell all these values are. At that point, you meet Jamiam who tells you that its all very complicated, and assures you that you can't possible be smart enough to comprehend what he does for a living. Granted, he can be helpful, but I get the impression that he deliberately limits his help, much like a math teacher who won't just give you the answer.

LoL...am I really that bad?

Anyhow, you are incorrect on your attrition divider claim. The attrition divider acts the same over all combats, but - and this is the point that you may have misinterpreted - changing it from the default will generally have a proportionately larger affect on soft targets, than it will in anti-armor combat. This is a simple consequence of the fact that there are more losses taken by soft targets during both bombardment and direct AP than are suffered by armored targets, leading to a greater likelihood of deployment-based disentrenchment results earlier in the turn, and the cascading effects that subsequent attacks being progressively more deadly will produce.

quote:

ORIGINAL: AdamRinkleff

Would you guys consider revealing exact formulae? There are a lot of intelligent scenario designers who want to help this program succeed, but sometimes we feel like the programmers are deliberately avoiding specific details which would help us to help you! I know there are complicated technical details involved, but some of us have studied complicated technical subjects.

While I sympathize with your request, there is an issue of IP rights, which are still held by Take Two. They would be violated if exact formulae were revealed. I don't need to go into depth on the full story behind the acquisition of the publishing rights of TOAW by Matrix, but where earlier versions of TOAW and TOAW III share common code base, we are not at liberty to reveal any IP. We own the changes, but the base remains under Take Two's control. Most of the actual combat-related formulae and algorithms for TOAW III are unchanged from CoW, so we can't reveal anything that wasn't already in the public domain, whether in the manual or printed by authorized sources and past holders of the IP rights.

This is the main reason for me being big on giving out as much conceptual information as I can, even though it often seems evasive by those seeking specifics. I trust you'll understand.

(in reply to AdamRinkleff)
Post #: 22
RE: What is DF??? - 11/2/2007 11:39:35 PM   
vahauser


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AdamRinkleff,

I, personally, don't think TOAW is well suited for either very small scales (under 5km hexes) or very large scales (larger than 25km hexes).

Steel Panthers is at the 5-minutes per turn scale and it is a lot of fun.  It might be my favorite game of all time.  But it is designed to be tactical and not operational. 

Somebody posted that TOAW prefers regiments as the basic unit (with battalions and divisions being acceptable).  This makes a lot of sense since the game was designed to be operational in scope and scale.

5-minutes per turn and individual squads and teams is exactly what Steel Panthers does well.  But not TOAW.

Anyway, I think that if you want to tinker with the BioEd, then you can experiment with all sorts of unit variations.  For instance, if you want to make machineguns be active defenders and give them a larger DF value, then you can create a BioEd equipment slot called "HMG (active)", or something like that.  Of course, that might play havoc with the way the game engine treats force densities in the hex, but it might work for a specific scenario you are designing.

The WW2 database I'm working on is more concerned with "getting the numbers right".  I'm more interested in making sure that the aircraft ranges are accurate and consistent, that tank Armor ratings are accurate and consistent, etc.  As far as values and ratings I don't understand (like tank DF ratings), I tend to leave them alone.  And since I don't fully understand the way the game engine handles passive and active defenders in a hex, then I tend to not mess with the DF values assigned to passive defenders either.

However, I will say this.  In the wargame companies I've worked for, developing ratings and rules, I've usually had to warn my employers about the dangers of "compression" of ratings at the low end.  TOAW also suffers from this.  "Compression" is where the difference between a 1 and a 2 is big.  If you have a rating scale that goes from 1-100 (for instance), then the difference between a 1 and a 2 is not big.  But if your rating scale only goes from 1-10 (for instance), then the difference between a 1 and a 2 is big.  TOAW has many ratings like that (compression at the low end).  I've been working on Armor ratings for AFVs lately and a whole bunch of WW2 AFVs have Armor ratings that cluster in the 1-3 range (in TOAW terms).  This creates problems when trying to assign an Armor rating to a "borderline" AFV, that could be either a 1 or a 2 (for instance).  If the ratings scale were more granular, then this would not be such a big deal.  But "getting the numbers wrong" in the case I just described could mean future problems with scenario play balance.  Compression at the low end is problematic.  [If I could get away with it, and not create huge game-engine problems, I would double or triple the range of Armor ratings (from 1-20, which is the current range of WW2 AFVs, to 1-50 or so), but I don't think I can do with the Armor ratings what I did with the air ratings.  Oh well.]

In any event, I'm more interested in the active defenders.  Seems like the passive defenders are treated like targets if the active defenders aren't able to protect them.  Conceptually I can see why TOAW did what it did.  I probably would have done things differently if I'd been working with Norm. [As an aside, I live in Austin and I think Norm used to live here in Austin as well (as I recall, he didn't live too far away from me).  Back when Norm was first developing TOAW in the 1990s, I thought about contacting him, but other projects diverted me. . .]  So, my main interest in working with the BioEd on my WW2 database is with the active defenders.

But if you decide to mess around with changing passive and active defenders around, I'd like to see the results of your work.

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Post #: 23
RE: What is DF??? - 11/3/2007 12:16:54 AM   
ColinWright

 

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quote:


Oh I was serious. Poor White Rabbit has been harping on this for years and being ripped down about it for years.


Getting 'ripped down' is good for White Rabbits. It's sort of like roughage in their diet.


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Post #: 24
RE: What is DF??? - 11/3/2007 12:23:17 AM   
ColinWright

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: vahauser

...As far as values and ratings I don't understand (like tank DF ratings), I tend to leave them alone. And since I don't fully understand the way the game engine handles passive and active defenders in a hex, then I tend to not mess with the DF values assigned to passive defenders either...


That's a good idea. TOAW works in strange and mysterious ways, and any time you play with some value, it's a good idea to test the actual effects.

For example, in an effort to get a more reasonable simulation of the attenuation of air superiority as range increases, I experimented with units composed of mixed 'long-range' and 'short-range' Bf-109's. The results got very weird. It didn't work. Why, I dunno -- but the moral is test if you have any doubts at all about the potential effects. I've had several things like that. It's all sort of like propitiating the volcano god. Don't just assume you can chuck in a random virgin once a year and everything will be fine.


< Message edited by ColinWright -- 11/3/2007 12:33:17 AM >


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Post #: 25
RE: What is DF??? - 11/7/2007 3:29:52 AM   
AdamRinkleff

 

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quote:

But if you decide to mess around with changing passive and active defenders around, I'd like to see the results of your work.
Well, one thing I've decided should be done, and you'll see it in the handful of scenarios I've made, is that all immobile heavy equipment should be an "active defender" -- I got really sick of seeing heavy artillery units auto-retreating endlessly before mechanized and cavalry units. Via this change, if the artillery gets exposed, it can be more easily destroyed and won't auto-retreat like passive-defenders normally do. It would be nice, however, if units could have separate AP values for ranged and 'direct' combat. Of course, with a DF of 1, the artillery is fairly weak at defense, which is probably why most passive defender guns have that value. Frankly, I wish there were a way to turn "retreat before combat" off entirely.

As for whether TOAW models well at the tactical level, I don't think anyone is asking for big changes to accomodate this; simply allow people to change the calendar to a smaller level, allow them to select a hex size of 1km or 0.5km (even if its just the old 2.5km hex with a different name), and allow all units (not just artillery/hq) to make long-range attacks with ranged equipment. That's all we are asking for!

< Message edited by AdamRinkleff -- 11/7/2007 3:33:57 AM >

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Post #: 26
RE: What is DF??? - 11/8/2007 5:12:37 PM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: AdamRinkleff

quote:

equipment types are classed as "passive defenders"

This is a whole different issue, but I hate how every "active defender" takes up a "concentration slot" -- like, maybe I want a unit to be an active defender and actively take fire, but maybe its a small unit and I don't think it should make the hex crowded... the point is, can we please have a way to edit how many active defenders can fit into a hex?


That would be useful for several things.

quote:

Oh, and could we please have the ability to reduce the time of a turn, like to 5 minutes; and then, um, could we have something where all units, even infantry, are capable of long-range fire... cuz then we could do tactical scenarios.


You can already do tactical scenarios. You just need to buy a tactical game first.

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Post #: 27
RE: What is DF??? - 11/8/2007 5:25:52 PM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: vahauser
However, I will say this.  In the wargame companies I've worked for, developing ratings and rules, I've usually had to warn my employers about the dangers of "compression" of ratings at the low end.  TOAW also suffers from this.  "Compression" is where the difference between a 1 and a 2 is big.


Fortunately, AP strength in TOAW is measured in 1/8ths (which you can see in the BioEd).

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Post #: 28
RE: What is DF??? - 11/8/2007 5:32:18 PM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: AdamRinkleff

As for whether TOAW models well at the tactical level, I don't think anyone is asking for big changes to accomodate this; simply allow people to change the calendar to a smaller level, allow them to select a hex size of 1km or 0.5km (even if its just the old 2.5km hex with a different name), and allow all units (not just artillery/hq) to make long-range attacks with ranged equipment. That's all we are asking for!


Such changes won't make a tactical model work, however. You'd need a line-of-sight model for a start.

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Post #: 29
RE: What is DF??? - 11/8/2007 6:32:07 PM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 9715
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From: Houston, TX
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quote:

ORIGINAL: golden delicious


quote:

ORIGINAL: vahauser
However, I will say this.  In the wargame companies I've worked for, developing ratings and rules, I've usually had to warn my employers about the dangers of "compression" of ratings at the low end.  TOAW also suffers from this.  "Compression" is where the difference between a 1 and a 2 is big.


Fortunately, AP strength in TOAW is measured in 1/8ths (which you can see in the BioEd).


And, in addition, the displayed combat values are only for human consumption. It's the unscaled equipment values that are used for combat resolution - and they tend to combine into gigantic values for most units.

(in reply to golden delicious)
Post #: 30
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