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RE: Scout/recon button/order

 
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RE: Scout/recon button/order - 8/4/2010 9:09:38 AM   
Haiku

 

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Maybe another option is not needed after all. Much like the auto entrenchment mechanism, the more a unit stay in the same place, the more their recon value and range increase. It make sense to me that a company being in the same village since 2 days have much more recon capability around the place, than a unit that just get there few minutes ago. And it does not over complicated the UI (just the engine ^_^)

Another point. I guess if the entrenchment system is automatically applied (this is not an option, manually set), it's because if it was, every one will check the "entrench yourself" box everytime, since it's always a good option to do so. The question is the same about recon. Is it really an option ? or just a simple behavior every company does by itself if given the opportunity ?

(in reply to Swamp_Yankee)
Post #: 181
RE: Scout/recon button/order - 8/4/2010 10:31:33 AM   
Alchenar

 

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Ok how about this for an option:

Each unit has an 'OP radius' in the same way that it has an AP and AA radius.  Within this radius the player can specify locations for the unit to throw out OPs (ie. my company on the reverse side of a hill puts some men on the crest) like a 'fire' or 'bombard' command.  Each OP reduces the cohesion of the unit a bit.   The size of the radius can depend upon whether the unit is moving or deployed (ie. moving outriders or static dug-in position), and also on the firepower composition of the unit (a company with longer ranged and heavier firepower will be more confident about being able to support an OP further out).

OP's might need to be considered mini-units though because another drawback of using them should be that they should be swept away by an attack should they not be able to withdraw.


This solution likely ends up in a horrible mess of micromanagement though so... take all the above, replace 'the player' with 'the AI' and add another behaviour modifier (like 'rest' and 'rate of fire' etc) to orders that determines how aggressive the unit should be in throwing out scouts. 


e: ok I guess this is very similar to Arjuna's solution, except for having to deal with the 'my company on the reverse side of a hill puts some men on the crest' scenario. I guess this is also resolvable by allowing a bit of 'spread' of LOS base depending on scouting value.

< Message edited by Alchenar -- 8/4/2010 10:35:28 AM >

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Post #: 182
RE: Scout/recon button/order - 8/4/2010 6:19:35 PM   
johndoesecond


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Yes, I agree with Haiku and Alchenar.

It'd have to be done in the spirit of the game, which means: (1) some kind of (AI driven) automation is necessary; (2) no micromanagement unreasonable for the operational scale of the game; (3) something has to be abstracted, i.e. taken to be only implicitly simulated by the engine.

On this last regard, what I think would be useful at this point is to hear from someone who actually has some historical knowledge about how the scouting was done during the WW2 (and during this Bulge campaign in particular). I makes sense to debate how the real world should be modelled only after one has some operational knowledge about how the real world actually works.

After that, I believe the question we should be answering is how and how much of the scouting were managed at the operational command level, and how much was left at the company and battalion tactical level.

If we agree that some part (probably the predominant part) was indeed delegated at the tactical level, then there is a strong argument for some degree of abstraction, but more importantly, there is also a strong argument for not having the enemy unit spotting be dealt with in the way it seems to me is currently done in the BftB, based only on the LOS from unit icon to unit icon.

If this is really how things are working right now, then I'd say this is one of the major "flaws" in the current Command Ops engine. Just to make an example, if there is a Panzer battalion moving just beyond a small ridge, then - I'd argue - in the real world the Allies battalion on this side of the ridge would in many circumstances have spotted it or would have collected at least some vague information about it, even if there is no apparent (i.e. shown-on-the-map) icon-to-icon-wise LOS contact .
This is so because, I think, the Allies battalion would have (again in many circumstances) undertaken some tactical-level scouting activity. A scouting activity that would probably be inappropriate to simulate too explicitly and with too much micromanagement burden on the operational commander (i.e. player), but still, the information gathered in this way would have operational relevance (i.e. it is a relevant piece of information for the operational commander to learn that there is a Panzer-looking battalion beyond that ridge).

On the other hand, shouldn't we also take into account the possibility of air reconnaissance, which possibly may vary with the weather conditions?

Again, I'd be really curious to learn how these things worked in the real war. Were the surprises like those you sometimes may get in Command Ops (say, in the St. Vith tutorial scenario) really that frequent, plausible and realistic?

< Message edited by johndoesecond -- 8/5/2010 9:07:00 PM >

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Post #: 183
RE: Scout/recon button/order - 8/5/2010 1:02:09 AM   
Joe 98


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The solution is to add another range circle.

Currently the range circles show the range of weapons.

The new circle shows the range within which a unit has done recon.

If a unit remains stationary, the circle gets larger and larger.

Further, the 'circle" should morf into an odd shape becuse the recon would first go down the road or the track and then go off into any nearby forest.
-


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Post #: 184
RE: Scout/recon button/order - 8/5/2010 2:39:00 AM   
Arjuna


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quote:

Further, the 'circle" should morf into an odd shape becuse the recon would first go down the road or the track and then go off into any nearby forest.


Gee Joe, you don't want much do you.

I think I might let someone else work up the detailed algorythm for that one. If it passes muster, doesn't involve route finding or other processor intensive calculations, then we might just use it and give them a line in the credits to boot.

Seriously, this would involve some form of terrain analysis or route finding or LOS checks and hence be processor expensive. So it's a non-starter for now.

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Post #: 185
RE: Scout/recon button/order - 8/5/2010 3:48:46 AM   
Joe 98


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Arjuna
Seriously, this would involve some form of terrain analysis or route finding or LOS checks and hence be processor expensive. So it's a non-starter for now.



You picked on the hard bit and ignored the easier bit.


Currently the range circles show the range of weapons.

The new circle shows the range within which a unit has done recon.

If a unit remains stationary, the circle gets larger and larger.


(in reply to Arjuna)
Post #: 186
RE: Scout/recon button/order - 8/5/2010 10:54:39 AM   
RockinHarry


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Is things like (quality of) observation equipment calculated in the game? Usually heavy weapons and artillery units do have the better stuff and thus enjoy seeing farther and better. Same goes for some HQ units, having scissor binocs and such. They usually report their observations along the chain of command and a lag should be calculated for all units benefiting from them.

Loss of contact with the enemy shouldn´t be automatic, just cause LOS is broken by nightfall. Maintaining (or establishing) contact was the prime reason for any sort of recon and thus should be abstracted into the game mechanisms somehow. This assumes constant patrolling, by day and night. At company level, about 1/2 or full squad was used to do this. Recon ranges normally 1-2 km. Specialist recon units would be a different case. Also to consider, recon patrols can get lost or ambushed, without the sender ever getting to know about.

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RE: Scout/recon button/order - 8/5/2010 3:10:14 PM   
Franklin Nimitz

 

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Sharper posted this in another thread and I thought it was a good idea and maybe be easy to implement:

quote:

I wish you could set the time of day for the LOS checks. Checking the LOS's in a night turn is little pointless when working out the best cover to approach an objective, when this will happen in daylight.


e.g. say a scenario starts at night, and you want to do a map recon in your pre-game planning like a good e-commander. It would be nice to use the LOS tools with 'daylight' set, so you could confirm your potential position's visibilities.

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Post #: 188
RE: Scout/recon button/order - 8/5/2010 3:24:14 PM   
CriticalMass


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Joe 98


quote:

ORIGINAL: Arjuna
Seriously, this would involve some form of terrain analysis or route finding or LOS checks and hence be processor expensive. So it's a non-starter for now.



You picked on the hard bit and ignored the easier bit.


Currently the range circles show the range of weapons.

The new circle shows the range within which a unit has done recon.

If a unit remains stationary, the circle gets larger and larger.




So any opfor units are automatically revealed if within the the circle? Do they have a chance of revealing your "recon" force? Problem is they only exists virtually as an abstracted circle. And, what about exchanges of fire, these would require LOS evaluations, terrain evaluation (see Arjuna's response) and force level adjustments - but to which equipment.

< Message edited by CriticalMass -- 8/5/2010 3:26:08 PM >


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RE: Scout/recon button/order - 8/5/2010 3:46:17 PM   
simovitch


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Franklin Nimitz

Sharper posted this in another thread and I thought it was a good idea and maybe be easy to implement:

quote:

I wish you could set the time of day for the LOS checks. Checking the LOS's in a night turn is little pointless when working out the best cover to approach an objective, when this will happen in daylight.


e.g. say a scenario starts at night, and you want to do a map recon in your pre-game planning like a good e-commander. It would be nice to use the LOS tools with 'daylight' set, so you could confirm your potential position's visibilities.


Like having night vision goggles? I don't think this feature is worth the effort, it gives the player a tool that was not historically available. That's just my opinion, for myself I feel guilty doing LOS checks when I don't have units occupying the space.

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RE: Scout/recon button/order - 8/5/2010 4:08:21 PM   
CriticalMass


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I suppose there is an argument for at game start enhanced observations, to simulate recon, but after the game starts... 

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RE: Scout/recon button/order - 8/5/2010 4:35:02 PM   
Swamp_Yankee


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It seems to me that abstracting the recon at the company level is the way to go, with the zone that is covered getting larger the longer the unit is in place. That would include hours of darkness to a lesser extent. But Does that address the original question posed, regarding the desire not to conduct a company sized recon in force but rather send scouts out in smaller sections? I don't see how that fits into an operational level game unfortunately. Normally a Battalion Commander has a scout platoon that he has carry out specific scouting tasks and reporting back to the Battalion TOC directly. To be honest I don't know if they had scout platoons in WWII though...

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RE: Scout/recon button/order - 8/5/2010 11:32:24 PM   
Alchenar

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: simovitch


quote:

ORIGINAL: Franklin Nimitz

Sharper posted this in another thread and I thought it was a good idea and maybe be easy to implement:

quote:

I wish you could set the time of day for the LOS checks. Checking the LOS's in a night turn is little pointless when working out the best cover to approach an objective, when this will happen in daylight.


e.g. say a scenario starts at night, and you want to do a map recon in your pre-game planning like a good e-commander. It would be nice to use the LOS tools with 'daylight' set, so you could confirm your potential position's visibilities.


Like having night vision goggles? I don't think this feature is worth the effort, it gives the player a tool that was not historically available. That's just my opinion, for myself I feel guilty doing LOS checks when I don't have units occupying the space.


No no no this is actually something that really bugs me: LOS means the the line of sight, not what can be seen. When I place a unit in darkness I want to be able to see what it's visibility/ability to see will be in daylight. Currently you have to watch the time tick over till dawn to realise that what you thought was a relatively safe location actually turned out to be in sight of all the world. It isn't gaming the system at all to be able to check what you can see from a certain point, given that you could sit down with a calculator and do z-measurements of the map and work it all out yourself if you really wanted to.

Oh also, the 'threat' tool is a bit difficult to use, especially when there's an easy alternative: when you click on a unit just highlight (much like friendly units under that unit's command are highlighted) the enemy units that that unit can see.

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RE: Scout/recon button/order - 8/5/2010 11:40:11 PM   
Alchenar

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Joe 98


quote:

ORIGINAL: Arjuna
Seriously, this would involve some form of terrain analysis or route finding or LOS checks and hence be processor expensive. So it's a non-starter for now.



You picked on the hard bit and ignored the easier bit.


Currently the range circles show the range of weapons.

The new circle shows the range within which a unit has done recon.

If a unit remains stationary, the circle gets larger and larger.





You can make it easier than that: make radius changes absolute rather than discrete, just like digging in. In fact you can save time by linking them directly to digging in.

A unit that has deployed has the default detection.

A unit that has 'dug in' has had the time to establish OPs, so it gets a minor bonus to detection and range.

A unit that is 'entrenched' is secure in its position and has thrown out a patrol or two forward of its position.



Is spotting 360 or are there discrete values for each direction? Most units should only improve their spotting to the front (and ideally this should be altered by the unit role so that 'left guard' and 'right guard' units patrol in their respective directions).

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Post #: 194
RE: Scout/recon button/order - 8/6/2010 3:22:38 AM   
Arjuna


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Franklin Nimitz

Sharper posted this in another thread and I thought it was a good idea and maybe be easy to implement:

quote:

I wish you could set the time of day for the LOS checks. Checking the LOS's in a night turn is little pointless when working out the best cover to approach an objective, when this will happen in daylight.


e.g. say a scenario starts at night, and you want to do a map recon in your pre-game planning like a good e-commander. It would be nice to use the LOS tools with 'daylight' set, so you could confirm your potential position's visibilities.


Rather than a time of day, I would recommend using a visibility value. During the day, it can often be foggy or rainy which impede detection. So in the end we need a visbility rating. This would require change to the UI ( to set the vis rating ) plus changes to the AI so that we can override the current vis. Good idea. I like it.

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RE: Scout/recon button/order - 8/6/2010 3:25:43 AM   
Arjuna


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alchenar


quote:

ORIGINAL: Joe 98


quote:

ORIGINAL: Arjuna
Seriously, this would involve some form of terrain analysis or route finding or LOS checks and hence be processor expensive. So it's a non-starter for now.



You picked on the hard bit and ignored the easier bit.


Currently the range circles show the range of weapons.

The new circle shows the range within which a unit has done recon.

If a unit remains stationary, the circle gets larger and larger.





You can make it easier than that: make radius changes absolute rather than discrete, just like digging in. In fact you can save time by linking them directly to digging in.

A unit that has deployed has the default detection.

A unit that has 'dug in' has had the time to establish OPs, so it gets a minor bonus to detection and range.

A unit that is 'entrenched' is secure in its position and has thrown out a patrol or two forward of its position.



Is spotting 360 or are there discrete values for each direction? Most units should only improve their spotting to the front (and ideally this should be altered by the unit role so that 'left guard' and 'right guard' units patrol in their respective directions).


Nice. An elegant solution.

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Post #: 196
RE: Scout/recon button/order - 8/17/2010 8:22:58 AM   
Mox

 

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I was wondering (excuse me if it was mentioned earlier) if it would be possible to add granades/personal magnetic mines/molotovs etc. as weapons to estabs? Right now I'm reading a book by Michael Reynolds - Men of Steel (1st SS Pz Korps in Ardennes) and with the shortage of anti-tank weapons, especialy in the late phase of battle, AT grenades (bunch) and magnetic personal mines was used to get rid of enemy tanks. The same goes for Normandy campaign (molotovs in East Bns). They should be probably very short range weapons, even direct-contact.
I'm playing Widening the Corridor scenario as Germans and most of infantry (even SS) do not have any AT weapons (0 panzerfaust warheads in roster). It's a pain

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Post #: 197
RE: Scout/recon button/order - 8/18/2010 5:33:50 PM   
Renato

 

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I think it would be useful to add the Rest information (None, Min, Norm, Max) somewhere in the Unit Info Box (F6?).

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RE: Scout/recon button/order - 8/31/2010 7:21:22 PM   
Repsol

 

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Hello...
One thing i would like to see in the future is a more direct way to see what units are included in the various reinforcement groups...
As it is now i find it a bit complicated to sort out what units will arrive when...
When i look at the REINF-tab in the sidebar i see the list of reinforcements and the time they will arrive...Thats good...But it only
shows the name of the senior HQ of that reinforment group and the total number of units that will arrive with it...
For example - KG Poschinger HQ, 11 units...Ok..But which 11 units ? looking at the organic structure OB..KG Poschinger consist of 23 units...
The way i do it now i have to switch between the reinforcement list and the organic structure OB list to find out witch of thoose 23 units will
arrive with the KG Porschinger HQ and witch will arrive in a seperate reinforcement group later...This i find a bit complicated and time consuming...

The suggestion i have is:

If you right-click the reinforcement-group in the reinforcementlist in the sidebar the datadisplay will change to show the organic structure OB list
centered on that group of units and showing the units that will arrive in that reinforcement-group in a different colour (maybe green)...
This way i feel that it would be much simpler to work out the arrival time of my forces...

Just a suggestion
Thanks !

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Post #: 199
Form-up estimate - 9/2/2010 6:37:42 PM   
Alchenar

 

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Here's one:  Could my units give me feedback on how long it will take them to form-up for an attack?

It's the one major missing piece of information that really throws a spanner in the works when planning attacks.  I can use the tools to estimate how long it'll take to move to the form up point, and from jump-off to destination (minus fighting) but for the important bit in-between there's a massive question mark that makes it incredibly difficult to know if my H-hour is reasonable and whether my attack will launch on time. 

For that matter it would be nice if I got immediate feedback in the order screen on how long each waypoint is estimated to take to move to and a rough estimate for how long it the group commander will take to plan.

Most if not all of this information is accessible anyway (whether through in game tools or pulling up the manual), it could just be a lot more accessible.

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Post #: 200
RE: Future Directions - Features - 9/13/2010 11:22:44 PM   
Deathtreader


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Hi,

This is one from a posting of mine back in the COTA forums:

The ability to have each player (or the AI) play at different Orders delay levels. Newer players or the AI could play at realistic (as an example) while the more experienced player plays the match at painfully realistic. Just another way to find play balance without always resorting to more or less supply/reinforcements.

Rob.

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RE: Future Directions - Features - 9/22/2010 11:55:50 PM   
Franklin Nimitz

 

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Here's an easy one I'd like: the ability to toggle on/off whether a unit will request/be sent supplies. If I know a unit is cut off, why do my supply convoys insist on conducting suicide missions?

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Post #: 202
RE: Future Directions - Features - 9/23/2010 1:10:52 AM   
Arjuna


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FN,

A supply column is only sent if at that time a valid supply route can be traced to it. Once I'm back at work I will try to remember to look into this.

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Post #: 203
RE: Future Directions - Features - 9/23/2010 3:09:11 AM   
Franklin Nimitz

 

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Really what I'm referring to is situations where you the player think its risky. The base AI may think it's got a valid route, but I still get plenty of messages about convoys getting hit. I'm basically asking for a "none" button to go with the min/avg/max supply selection we have now.

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Post #: 204
RE: Future Directions - Features: LOS - 10/15/2010 4:07:11 PM   
johndoesecond


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Hi all,

I know this has been mentioned before, but now after weeks of playing BFTB, I really need to re-new this request for "future directions".

The issue are the LOS tools (LOS and LOS area). Currently, these two calculate the LOS under current visibility conditions, therfore taking into account current weather and above all lighting (i.e. day/night). This makes somewhat hard to estimate what the LOS would be under other conditions, and above all, since the great majority of scenarios start during the night, what would be visible under the daylight.

What I believe is needed is another set of LOS tools giving you something like the best-possible daylight LOS. Or even better (although it may overwelm the interface): a daylight LOS under different possible weather visibility conditions.

As I mentioned, this would be especially helpful at the beginning of the scenarios which start at night, where you really have to make the grand plan, set plenty of waypoints for plenty units, and you'd really like to be able to do that better by easily knowing what exactly will be seen from where during the day.

Maybe it can be solved by puting a sort of a checkbox or drop-down list options on the LOS tools panel, or maybe there are other neater ways to implement it, but I have little doubts that it is utterly necessary and of great usefulness.

Thank you for your attention.

Regards.

< Message edited by johndoesecond -- 10/15/2010 4:09:35 PM >

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Post #: 205
RE: Future Directions - Features: LOS - 10/15/2010 5:22:05 PM   
tukker

 

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That would be helpful- but is it realistic? If a force occupies a certain terrain feature at night, it won't know the exact LOS during daytime until sunrise.

Pieter

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Post #: 206
RE: Future Directions - Features: LOS - 10/15/2010 5:55:24 PM   
RockinHarry


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quote:

ORIGINAL: tukker

That would be helpful- but is it realistic? If a force occupies a certain terrain feature at night, it won't know the exact LOS during daytime until sunrise.

Pieter



Although my BFTB experience is just from the demo so far, I would support johndoesecond´s suggestions for the reason, that BFTB is an operational level game, where one can assume that commanders and staffs have maps/tools readily available for proper terrain evaluation. Beside that, adding "generic LOS measuring" in the game, would be a nice feature, although nonessential.

I´d rather get rid of things like, "true crossing site state always visible", or adding a bit of terrain FOW, as true ground state (clear-firm-mud-impassable??) not always visible from the game map, as long as you haven´t actually moved a friendly unit into it.

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Post #: 207
RE: Future Directions - Features: LOS - 10/15/2010 7:42:42 PM   
johndoesecond


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quote:

ORIGINAL: RockinHarry


quote:

ORIGINAL: tukker

That would be helpful- but is it realistic? If a force occupies a certain terrain feature at night, it won't know the exact LOS during daytime until sunrise.

Pieter



Although my BFTB experience is just from the demo so far, I would support johndoesecond´s suggestions for the reason, that BFTB is an operational level game, where one can assume that commanders and staffs have maps/tools readily available for proper terrain evaluation. Beside that, adding "generic LOS measuring" in the game, would be a nice feature, although nonessential.

I´d rather get rid of things like, "true crossing site state always visible", or adding a bit of terrain FOW, as true ground state (clear-firm-mud-impassable??) not always visible from the game map, as long as you haven´t actually moved a friendly unit into it.


Yeah, that were my thoughts exactly. When you pick objectives, waypoints, strongholds, etc., you - operational commander - would look at the map at your hand and base you assessments on that. You would obviously take into account that there is night coming after a day, and day coming after a night, but you would also - and above all, I'd add - take into acount the mere orography of the terrain.

I support anything that makes us closer to FOW realism, so I agree with RockinHarry's ideas. Actually, anything that improves on the realism of being op commander is welcome. Sometimes I think this should maybe bring about some uncertainly about your own units' position! In the real war I assume you wouldn't know the position and the status of your units minute-by-minute with the degree of certainty you get in this game. There may be time lags, information missing for 5-10 minutes, etc.

Wouldn't that kind of untertainty (at least as an option) bring in a whole new dimension in this wonderful simulation?

You see, what I love in this game is precisely the fact that you cannot see things that are not "seeable" at that level of command in the real war. Elsewhere, some ppl. were talking about missing 3D battlefield (Combat-Mission-like), and my answer is ... well, that's exactly the point! As a real-world commander you'd never have the chance to fly over, buzz and roam with a camera over your troops.
So in BFTB you get something much closer to the real op commander experience, and I love its "quantum uncertainty" about where exactly your single vehicles, guns and men are, how exactly they are positioned (the unit's footprint we have in this game is precisely that: a statistical hypothesis), and how the conflicts are resolved at that statistical level. There is something magical with this game that simply works because everything fits exactly and perfectly its geographical, commanding and military organisational scale, and nothing seems to belong to some other extraneous level, scale or domain.


Cheers.

< Message edited by johndoesecond -- 10/15/2010 10:57:33 PM >

(in reply to RockinHarry)
Post #: 208
RE: Future Directions - Features: LOS - 10/16/2010 12:14:31 AM   
wodin


Posts: 8018
Joined: 4/20/2003
From: England
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You have to remember that to much realism may end up with a game that isn't any fun to play anymore....I love realism..but there is always a trade off with playability....I feel to much FoW may harm the overall enjoyment and make the game a lesson in frustration and maybe to much guess work...a happy medium is required...again I'm all for as much realism as possible as long as it isn't to the detriment of the overall playability and enjoyment..

In the end you would have a map thats not fully accurate and a teleprinter with info coming from company commanders and Forward Observers....then you would have a list of options on what they should do depending on one their mission and two what they have just reported...that would be the main screen of the game...you then have to mark on the map where they are and where you told them to go...that would be realistic FoW game for you..

< Message edited by wodin -- 10/16/2010 12:19:35 AM >


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(in reply to johndoesecond)
Post #: 209
RE: Future Directions - Features: LOS - 10/16/2010 12:24:17 AM   
johndoesecond


Posts: 964
Joined: 8/3/2010
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Not bad ...

But I'd hope a more elevated compromise is possible. Don't you believe so?

< Message edited by johndoesecond -- 10/16/2010 12:36:16 AM >

(in reply to wodin)
Post #: 210
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