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COTA combat & supply

 
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COTA combat & supply - 12/15/2007 3:50:23 PM   
simovitch


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While Arjuna is in the process of moving and getting his new server up and running, we have some more time to make some adjustments in the data content if necessary for COTA perhaps but definitely for BFTB:

It would be much appreciated if I could get some feedback from players on the following:

1. How do you feel about fuel consumption rates for your mobile forces?
Currently the algorithm is based on distance travelled, not time. Should a unit that takes 4 hours to travel 1 Km use more fuel than a unit that takes only 30 minutes on a road?

2. How do you feel about casualty rates in the game?
Is it about right? too many? too few? too much routing and not enough surrendering?

3. How do you feel about overall supply consumption?
If isolated in heavy combat, should you be running out of bullets as well as basics at around the same time? Would it be more exciting or more of a hassle if ammo and fuel supply became critical after a day or so of combat (like Artillery and basic supply does on occasion)?

Thanks!

< Message edited by Arjuna -- 12/18/2007 1:03:02 AM >


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RE: COTA combat & supply - sticky request - 12/15/2007 4:35:12 PM   
06 Maestro


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I can think of a few situations where my units continued to recieved adquate supply even though those were nearly cut off, w/o road access. It may be that ammo supply needs to be tightend up. I also recall having units tired and decimated due to a lack of supply (caught in bad terrain). It may be that supply is just right-(anyone can be a politician with a little practice). These days, I only keep a sharp on on arty or mortors supply, the others seldom have a problem.
It would be easier to answer the question if we could see the enemy supply level at the end of a scenario.

I will take a closer look at this ASAP-today.

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RE: COTA combat & supply - sticky request - 12/15/2007 4:56:13 PM   
simovitch


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quote:

ORIGINAL: 06 Maestro
It would be easier to answer the question if we could see the enemy supply level at the end of a scenario.


You can cycle through F7, etc. and get a good idea of supply levels and supply lines of the enemy.

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RE: COTA combat & supply - sticky request - 12/15/2007 7:55:22 PM   
Renato

 

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1. I never had this problem in COTA. Is it worthwhile to complicate the computations? May be in BFTB.

2. It seems about right to me.

3. The Fallshirmjager very often run out of basics much before running out of bullits, even when engaged in combat. This seems anomalous to me and I often cried: less bullits and more loaves please. Have you any historical information that supports it ?

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RE: COTA combat & supply - sticky request - 12/15/2007 8:44:44 PM   
wodin


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I sometimes feel that the units retreat or rout far to quickly. I sometimes see companies bouncing back and forth after only a short period in combat. Maybe if another level was used say something like minor breach or local retreat.

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RE: COTA combat & supply - sticky request - 12/16/2007 1:34:20 AM   
06 Maestro


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1. Fuel consumtion changes based on speed is not needed. Although I'm sure there were strict guidelines used back then, it would not add anything to a game at CotAs' scale-not worth the effort. Changes in unit visability based on vehicle speed is an interesting thought...You would need a variable "dust speed".

2.The routing may be over done. Sometimes when units are caught in the open with no cover and no way out, they scramble here and there before surrendering. I was able to create a situation where units were cut off and were doing the dance of death for about 6 hours (including defending posture, of course). 2 of 4 units made it through the Plain of Death. It seems reasonable under certain circumstances-but not all. If it were possible, units caught on clear open ground, not in a defending posture, taking fire from mutiple directions, with no way out, should surrender after a given amount of time of routing. Perhaps that time should be variable depending on losses. This is probably already the criteria, it just needs to be tightened up a little.

3. Logistics packages should provide all classes of supply to a unit on an equal percentage according to requirements. In a crises, ammo would have to take priority in supply convoys-within reason. It looks like this is how the game is designed already-I assume. Other than arty units, units seem to run out of basics before the ammo. There are so many diffrent possible situations to affect the delivery-and requsts for emergency supply, that I can't really answer the question-yet. I will be working on it.

< Message edited by 06 Maestro -- 12/16/2007 7:17:15 PM >

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RE: COTA combat & supply - sticky request - 12/16/2007 2:07:37 AM   
Deathtreader


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Hi all,

1/ Fuel consumption as is seems about right to me. If there's available time/resources to work on supply routines then I'd much rather have the ability to gain at least some fuel/basics (but not ammo) if I overrun an enemy base and/or depot and/or dump. I also note that arty units very seldom request emergency supply whereas mortar platoons do. Why is this??

2/ I agree about the apparent "dance of death" expressed in 06 Maestro's posting. Perhaps units should surrender/disband somewhat sooner in general. Fanatical units such as the SS could last somewhat longer. I like Wodin's suggestion about local breaches. I've noticed too that base and support units sometimes still retreat or displace long before the player gets to see the enemy units responsible for it. I've had the occassional instance where I've watched an invisible wave ripple thru those types of units without seeing why for an hour or more of gametime.

3/ I'm generally content with consumption rates overall and am not really convinced that it needs to be parsed more precisely between basics/fuel and ammo.

Even though not solicited I think their should be a seperate movement class for mechanized in addition to the current foot/motorized process.

Just my 2 cents worth...........

Rob.

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RE: COTA combat & supply - sticky request - 12/16/2007 3:10:00 PM   
simovitch


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Good feedback guys. I'm suprised people are content with the fuel consumption. Has anyone seen a unit ever run out of fuel (or small arms ammo for that matter)?

Consider: Say a unit zipping along a highway 10 Km for 30 minutes burns 1 litre of fuel. That same unit crawling for 12 hours along 10 km of rough terrain will also only burn 1 litre of fuel. This means that on a map with lots of rough terrain units will probably never run out of fuel before the game ends.

I think units in continuous combat for 24 hours without resupply should be running out of bullets before basics. With such an elegant resupply model it just doesn't seem hazardous enough for units to risk getting isolated.

The supply consumptions are easy fixes that could be done for COTA, but if we raise ROF for small arms (i.e. rifles) it may cause a few more casualties in the game but ammo would be depleted faster. If people are content with the casualty rates and ammo supply than we will leave them be.

The routing/retreating re-coding will have to wait for BFTB or beyond. Seperating wheeled/tracked from 'motorized' adds a whole new movement table for the pathing calcualtions and may be problematic (but I too would like to see it.)

Keep it coming!

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RE: COTA combat & supply - sticky request - 12/16/2007 5:56:38 PM   
Crimguy


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I have had units run out of fuel in only a couple of occasions.  While I get "out of supply" messages, they seldom are something to worry about.

I think the routing mechanism is a bit silly - the units do bounce all over the place like pinballs.  IMHO, if they determine there is no place to retreat, they would likely seek cover, hunker down, and surrender rather quickly if losses start mounting at a certain rate/certain level.  Otherwise, they should retreat to the first place where they find adequate cover and again hunker down and try to regroup.

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RE: COTA combat & supply - sticky request - 12/17/2007 1:21:40 AM   
Deathtreader


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Hi all,

I've had units run out of small arms ammo before but not all that often & usually after one of those apparently never resultant fire missions. You're right though simovitch about the fuel...... I've never seen that happen. Maybe it could be souped up a bit.
Any chance the idea of gaining some basics/fuel from overrun enemy depots etc. might make it?
BTW/ Has anyone seen regular arty units (not mortars) request emergency resupply?? Maybe it's just me........

Rob.

_____________________________

So we're at war with the Russkies eh?? I suppose we really ought to invade or something. (Lonnnng pause while studying the map)
Hmmmm... big place ain't it??
- Sir Harry Flashman (1854)

(in reply to simovitch)
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RE: COTA combat & supply - sticky request - 12/17/2007 6:45:08 AM   
Franklin Nimitz

 

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1. I think there should be a time-based aspect of fuel consumption since much of the time, even a stationary unit will have engines running, especially if the weather is cold. In a deployed moving/assault situation, there would be individual vehiclular movement within the unit footprint that wouldn't be reflected at the company scale. There will also be a constant bleed of fuel for couriers, liason vehicles, all sorts of miscellaneous trips, so on that will increase demand despite a lack of visible movement.

2. Casualty rates seem ok to me. One tweak I'd like is that surrender of an HQ unit should have a good chance of there being a cascade effect of nearby units. I'd think that seeing the Colonel throwing in the towel would be a bit, well, demoralizing. Also, at some point, an HQ unit that has suffered casualties should lose it's staff abilities/command ability. It would be cool to have an option to voluntarily disband spend units into other units as well.

Also, when artillery units rout (not in place, and not as a withdrawal/movement command), it should abandon its guns. Instantaneous hookup and speeding away while simultaneously panicking does not strike me as realistic. This makes artillery units far to resilient, IMO. There should also be abandonment of guns if there are not sufficient vehicles to tow the guns. I've seen many cases where a single remaining truck is towing 2 or 3 guns, at least according to the equipment list.

3. Cannon ammo consumption seems ok, I think the small arms ammo usage doesn't account for wastage that occurs in real life- as well as deliberate tactics like recon by fire and suppressive small arms fire on suspected enemy locations. Inexperienced troops in particular should consume ammo faster than veteran troops as well. If I'm not having any particular supply problems, I find myself using "rapid" fire far more often that I should be able to get away with.

Are basics consumption rates weather dependent? I would expect temperature extremes to increase the consumption rates.

I'd also like to see a way to redistribute supplies amongst co-located units. This goes with the voluntary disbandment, though there would have to be some mechanism to prevent abuse (Disbanding your entire force into a single Super Unit), such as not being able to exceed the original estab values). But I guess this is getting pretty micro-managerial.


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RE: COTA combat & supply - sticky request - 12/17/2007 3:43:41 PM   
simovitch


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quote:

Any chance the idea of gaining some basics/fuel from overrun enemy depots etc. might make it?


That's up to Dave. I think it's a good idea to be able to recover some % of a base that routs or surrenders. The effects of the dislodgement of bases needs to be looked at IMHO. It doesn't sound very easy to code though.

quote:

1. I think there should be a time-based aspect of fuel consumption since much of the time, even a stationary unit will have engines running, especially if the weather is cold. In a deployed moving/assault situation, there would be individual vehiclular movement within the unit footprint that wouldn't be reflected at the company scale. There will also be a constant bleed of fuel for couriers, liason vehicles, all sorts of miscellaneous trips, so on that will increase demand despite a lack of visible movement.


This is nuts-on for me as well. Also we have discussed upping the consumption rate for assaulting and non-rest mode for BFTB.

quote:

2. Casualty rates seem ok to me. One tweak I'd like is that surrender of an HQ unit should have a good chance of there being a cascade effect of nearby units. I'd think that seeing the Colonel throwing in the towel would be a bit, well, demoralizing. Also, at some point, an HQ unit that has suffered casualties should lose it's staff abilities/command ability. It would be cool to have an option to voluntarily disband spend units into other units as well.


Good ideas here.

quote:

Also, when artillery units rout (not in place, and not as a withdrawal/movement command), it should abandon its guns. Instantaneous hookup and speeding away while simultaneously panicking does not strike me as realistic. This makes artillery units far to resilient, IMO. There should also be abandonment of guns if there are not sufficient vehicles to tow the guns. I've seen many cases where a single remaining truck is towing 2 or 3 guns, at least according to the equipment list.


I agree with the treatment of routing artillery. Changing the movement type from motorized to foot when the trucks are gone is currently not possible but would solve many anomolies and provide for dis-mounting of troops as well. It's being looked at but it's a lot of work as I understand it.

quote:

3. Cannon ammo consumption seems ok, I think the small arms ammo usage doesn't account for wastage that occurs in real life- as well as deliberate tactics like recon by fire and suppressive small arms fire on suspected enemy locations. Inexperienced troops in particular should consume ammo faster than veteran troops as well. If I'm not having any particular supply problems, I find myself using "rapid" fire far more often that I should be able to get away with.


Good points - I agree 100%.

quote:

Are basics consumption rates weather dependent? I would expect temperature extremes to increase the consumption rates.


We were looking into winter effects for fatigue recovery and basics consumption would be another good aspect. Effects could be less for units in urban areas. Currently temperature has no effect on the game but that may change for BFTB.

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RE: COTA combat & supply - sticky request - 12/17/2007 8:25:12 PM   
Franklin Nimitz

 

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Regarding the tracked/wheeled and mount/dismount issues, if it comes down to a schedule/scope/budget decision (what doesn't?), fwiw, I'd vote for mount/dismount.  I think it would have the greatest favorable impact on gameplay. e.g.- I played the scenario where the Greek mot. div. attacked the German supply lines. Inspection of the map revealed that the entire focus was on a single bridge over a minor river that serves as an absolute barrier to motorized movement. All the Germans need to do is get everybody to the bridge and defend the crossing = win.  In reality, there would be no problem with the Greeks parking their trucks on the east bank, and fighting as regular foot infantry, able to ford the minor river easily at any point. In fact, that would probably be the expected situation.

Regarding implementation of mounted/dismounted, could the exit and reinforcement algorithims be adapted to "swap" a mounted unit for it's two component dismounted portion and carrier portions?  In other words, there already exists methods in the game engine to insert and remove units from the map dynamically in the course of a game.  If a mounted unit "exited", while simultaneously triggering a "reinforcement" in the exact same location consisting of the two sub-component units.  Of course, I'm totally talking out my hat here...

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RE: COTA combat & supply - 12/18/2007 9:22:14 AM   
sterckxe


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quote:

ORIGINAL: simovitch
1. How do you feel about fuel consumption rates for your mobile forces?
Currently the algorithm is based on distance travelled, not time. Should a unit that takes 4 hours to travel 1 Km use more fuel than a unit that takes only 30 minutes on a road?


Fuel consumption in general is too low imho - the current situation is that as long as your supply lines are open, you're never without fuel, beans and bullets. Historically that isn't correct.

quote:

ORIGINAL: simovitch
2. How do you feel about casualty rates in the game?
Is it about right? too many? too few? too much routing and not enough surrendering?


With the second patch : too much routing, recovering and routing again - as to the behaviour in the beta patch 3 : you know where I stand there

quote:

ORIGINAL: simovitch
3. How do you feel about overall supply consumption?
If isolated in heavy combat, should you be running out of bullets as well as basics at around the same time? Would it be more exciting or more of a hassle if ammo and fuel supply became critical after a day or so of combat (like Artillery and basic supply does on occasion)?


Depends on the size of the units getting surrounded (I know I'm being difficult). Supply was hoarded at various levels. A company usually had enough around for a single day of fighting, a battalion for 1-2 days, a regiment for up to 3 and so on. These are not hard and fast numbers but more like rules of thumb. Arty was different as they *never* had enough shells.

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx

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RE: COTA combat & supply - 12/18/2007 6:30:02 PM   
Franklin Nimitz

 

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While we're talking about supply, I'd like a clarification of concept of "expected requirements".  Is this based upon offensive or defensive "expected requirements", or is it maybe dynamically calculated based upon current usage/orders?  In other words, if the scenario sets supply at 75%, would this be 75% of a unit's expected needs to conduct offensive operations, and would thus be experiencing a shortfall should it attack at such a level of logistic support, BUT that same 75% might be sufficient for a unit defending in place.  (Although it seems the guys defending in place have to go on a diet as their basics ration reduces in proportion to the ammunition/fuel allotment.)

Also, the Scenmaker manual states the baseline "expected requirements are based on at start forces plus expected reinforcements and ignore any losses or exits".  Couple of questions/request for clarification:
1. Do the supplies step up with the arrival time of the reinforcement (assume no particular manipulation of the SEPs has taken place- just a single SEP active the entire time @100% w/ no interdiction issues), or are the 'expected required' supplies set to cover all the forces regardless of whether they are on map or not.  If the latter, the units originally on map would, in effect, be over supplied until the additional demand in the form of reinforcements is present.  To offset that, a scenario designer would have to manipulate the %age of expected requirement to correspond to the % of forces actually on-map.

2. Since the 'expected requirements' calculations ignores losses and exits, does the same principal apply in reverse?  Say I have two equal-sized regiments A and B, and my supplies are at 50%.  Unit A then withdraws from the map.  Will unit B now be effectively fully supplied (half the expected supplies, but only half the expected units, so it should be a wash).  Is this correct?

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RE: COTA combat & supply - 12/19/2007 12:22:22 AM   
Deathtreader


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quote:

ORIGINAL: sterckxe




With the second patch : too much routing, recovering and routing again - as to the behaviour in the beta patch 3 : you know where I stand there





Ummmm....... that sounds kind of ominous sterckxe. Care to elaborate??

Rob.


_____________________________

So we're at war with the Russkies eh?? I suppose we really ought to invade or something. (Lonnnng pause while studying the map)
Hmmmm... big place ain't it??
- Sir Harry Flashman (1854)

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RE: COTA combat & supply - 12/19/2007 2:37:47 PM   
sterckxe


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deathtreader

quote:

ORIGINAL: sterckxe

With the second patch : too much routing, recovering and routing again - as to the behaviour in the beta patch 3 : you know where I stand there


Ummmm....... that sounds kind of ominous sterckxe. Care to elaborate??

Rob.


Ok, I'll bite

It's actually quite the opposite - I'm a fan of the changed behaviour of defending units as seen in the beta patch 3. You're going to like it

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx








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RE: COTA combat & supply - 12/19/2007 4:53:37 PM   
wodin


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A post further up mentions no cover and which may explain to some degree the problem with units routing back and forth. Well as I always perceive open terrain is a little abstracted in the game as ditch's, undulating terrain, crops etc etc would actually be present in "open terrian ". So there will be some kind of cover especially for infantry.

Even so Ive had companies fall back then go forward countless times during a firefight even when they are in a bunker\church\fort. Ive read countless accounts where a company in a fortified position held out for days not 1 hour then vacating the cover then going back etc etc.

The problem I feel doesn't just happen when a unit is on its last legs and isolated.


< Message edited by wodin -- 12/19/2007 4:55:17 PM >


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RE: COTA combat & supply - 12/19/2007 7:16:16 PM   
Franklin Nimitz

 

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The 'going back' part, which is a quick rally and attempt to return to the orginally order position, should, I think, maybe happen once or so to troops that have broken. At that point, they would probably find the best cover near to where they ran to, and either hide out there, or keep running. There should maybe be a visibility modifier for 'hiding'. The default stationary 'deployed' visibility I believe assumes the unit is seeking terrain cover that also provides good firing positions. Personnel in a routed unit that is seeking shelter in place won't be emphasizing the 'good firing position' portion, they are trying to disappear completely.

Bear in mind that many of the accounts of units "holding out" in isolated positions for days usually means they were hiding for the vast majority of the time and then exfiltrating when the conditions were suitable to make an escape, unless they were particularly well fortified and stocked with supplies.

All that said, I'd rather Panther develop the game engine to allow mounted/dismounted distinctions to be made. I still say that would be the #1 thing to improve gameplay. The final writhings of doomed units is a marginal concern in comparison IMO.

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RE: COTA combat & supply - 12/19/2007 8:26:14 PM   
wodin


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Im not talking about doomed units here. It happens even when hardly any casualties have been taken. Infact it happens in nearly every attack. Dug in units stay dug in for a very little time and hardly take any casualites and yet they retreat at the drop of a hat. Granted they retake their posistions but I really feel the retreat and rout come into play far to quickly during combat.


I have no issue when units dance around whilst they are in their death throws.


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RE: COTA combat & supply - 12/19/2007 8:48:12 PM   
simovitch


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Some modifications have been done with Patch 3 that helps keep the defending AI from voluntarily leaving an improved position. I think there have also been some tweaks that makes it more likely that a defender that has been booted from his defensive position will abandon the defend task if it seems too hopeless. Arjuna will have to chime in here when he returns.

We have included "dismounted" armored infantry and armored engineer troops to BFTB. It's a stop gap measure until an actual dismounting effect can be coded in.

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RE: COTA combat & supply - 12/22/2007 12:38:26 AM   
Deathtreader


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quote:

ORIGINAL: simovitch

We have included "dismounted" armored infantry and armored engineer troops to BFTB. It's a stop gap measure until an actual dismounting effect can be coded in.


Would that be something along the lines of mechanized/motorized units complete with their armoured vehicles showing the "boot" of a leg/foot movement class unit ??

Rob.


_____________________________

So we're at war with the Russkies eh?? I suppose we really ought to invade or something. (Lonnnng pause while studying the map)
Hmmmm... big place ain't it??
- Sir Harry Flashman (1854)

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RE: COTA combat & supply - 12/22/2007 1:51:27 PM   
mgfoster

 

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Hi

1. I think consumption based on time would be better than on distance travelled. It seems a bit academic thought as all motorised units appear at scenario start with full tanks. I've tried changing fuel loads in the scenario editor but it always reverts to the stock loadout for me.

2. Seems about ok for me - apart from the 'dance of death'

3. Also seems about ok. I've had units running out of ammo (other than arty/mortar rounds which are always running out) on occaison

Many thanks for all this good work and a very Merry Christmas to you all

M


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RE: COTA combat & supply - 12/25/2007 2:48:38 AM   
simovitch


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deathtreader


quote:

ORIGINAL: simovitch

We have included "dismounted" armored infantry and armored engineer troops to BFTB. It's a stop gap measure until an actual dismounting effect can be coded in.


Would that be something along the lines of mechanized/motorized units complete with their armoured vehicles showing the "boot" of a leg/foot movement class unit ??

Rob.



Yes, precisely. We removed the vehicles and drivers from the motorized versions and made them foot-type movement class.


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RE: COTA combat & supply - 12/29/2007 1:37:41 AM   
Deathtreader


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quote:

ORIGINAL: simovitch


quote:

ORIGINAL: Deathtreader


quote:

ORIGINAL: simovitch

We have included "dismounted" armored infantry and armored engineer troops to BFTB. It's a stop gap measure until an actual dismounting effect can be coded in.


Would that be something along the lines of mechanized/motorized units complete with their armoured vehicles showing the "boot" of a leg/foot movement class unit ??

Rob.



Yes, precisely. We removed the vehicles and drivers from the motorized versions and made them foot-type movement class.



Sounds interesting, but this could be a "damned if you do, and damned if you don't" situation. Depends on how you determined which units to dismount. Don't mean to be picky but I hope you didn't just sort of arbitrarily or randomly pick a few units to be dismounted per scenario type of thing. A player might find themselves wishing for the unit's original motorized capability in some circumstances. If this was the approach perhaps both versions of the affected scenarios could be included.
If you've done something else then I'll shut up and ask for enlightenment.

Rob.


_____________________________

So we're at war with the Russkies eh?? I suppose we really ought to invade or something. (Lonnnng pause while studying the map)
Hmmmm... big place ain't it??
- Sir Harry Flashman (1854)

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Post #: 25
RE: COTA combat & supply - 1/1/2008 12:15:19 AM   
simovitch


Posts: 4182
Joined: 2/14/2006
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deathtreader

Sounds interesting, but this could be a "damned if you do, and damned if you don't" situation. Depends on how you determined which units to dismount. Don't mean to be picky but I hope you didn't just sort of arbitrarily or randomly pick a few units to be dismounted per scenario type of thing. A player might find themselves wishing for the unit's original motorized capability in some circumstances. If this was the approach perhaps both versions of the affected scenarios could be included.
If you've done something else then I'll shut up and ask for enlightenment.

Rob.


In my scenarios, I dismounted those units that were found to be on foot historically at the time. In another scenario the same unit may show up as motorized, i.e. it got some gas or transport. Again, it's a stopgap measure until Dave can code in the seperation of men and transport during the game.

_____________________________

simovitch


(in reply to Deathtreader)
Post #: 26
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