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Problem with MGs and detection/engagement ranges

 
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Problem with MGs and detection/engagement ranges - 6/14/2010 1:37:44 AM   
Chief Rudiger

 

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I have created a very simple scenario to test certain AI and game features. The scenario tries to mimic an early World War One or the Boer War situation in that it pits a 4 Company Battalion of British Infantry armed only with Lee Enfield against a German Infantry Company dug in on high ground armed with Kar98k rifles and lashings of Maxim machine guns. The attacking British have a Secure objective and the Germans a defend objective. Both sides have a 300 man strong base units with 300 horse drawn wagons. Lots of goofy details I know.

The problems I’m having are:

a) The high ground should give the defenders the ability to see the attackers as they move across open ground. In the game, despite the LOS tool showing uninterrupted LOS from the high ground, the attackers disappear after a few minutes moving about their deployment zone then reappear within a few hundred metres of the defenders. This seems to happen whether the attackers come straight down the middle, or hug the edge of the map. I don't understand why this is happening. I increased the "Recon" value of the unit's estab to >200 but the result was the same. Regardless, the problem is that the Germans are unable to spot and therefore pin the British with long range MG fire and so the British close with and overpower the Germans.

b) Ammunition, German and British, is quickly depleted within an hour or two of combat. All of the Germans run out of ammo before all of the British do, because not all the British are engaged at once, so the British win by default. I added in a base unit for either side and positioned the defenders SEP right next to the objective so that resupply would be quick (for them). Still, even with a full supply of 7.92mm ammo (used by both the Kar98 and Maxims) the Germans still cannot hold their position. I reduced the attacking Bn to two companies, and the result is the same almost every time. The British appear out of nowhere and the Germans come off worse in the short range fire fight, even though the British only have 2:1 numerical superiority.

As the Rifles and MGs use the same ammo, which is burnt through rapidly, I thought the lack of ammo might be preventing the ammo hungry MGs from contributing their full firepower to the short range battles. At short range the MGs should have a significant impact on the combat. I am not seeing this, instead, even with full ammo (and five times the number of MGs as I thought realistic) the Germans are still defeated at close range.

To understand what is happening I differentiated the Rifle and MG ammunition for the Germans (by cloning the 7.92mm ammo entry, renaming it and specifying it as the new ammo type for the Maxims) and saw that, as with the British, the Rifle ammunition is depleted really quickly, and needs restocked, but the separate MG ammo hardly ever seems to be expended, at least not in the quantities I would expect, and never nears exhaustion.

I reproduced this test using a stock German infantry estab in the place of my custom estab. The "WF - ID - Gren Coy" unit had 85 Rifles and 15 L/S MG42s (plus some MP40 which I didn't count). The figures in the attached spreadsheet show the ammo counts every time the units fired, in separate scenarios, during which time each retreated a little, but neither was terribly suppressed, and both fought back well for a while until they eventually routed. Neither unit ever ran out of Rifle ammo.

The 1st and 2nd columns give ammo levels, the 3rd and 4th give the drop in ammo after every burst, and the 5th and 6th columns give the average rounds fired per rifle or MG in the unit.

As you can see the ammunition expenditure (per gun) is significantly different for both Rifles and MGs and between my estab and the stock one. Perhaps the two scenarios played out slightly different but nevertheless, neither unit held off the two opposing companies, despite the Germans having MGs (and even SMGs) and the British having none. The "WF - ID - Gren Coy" was outnumbered 3.5:1 and my custom company 2:1. In my opinion, given what I have read, either company should have held off the poorly armed attackers. Why do machine guns expend so little ammunition and why are the attackers not being engaged at long range with MG fire?


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RE: Problem with MGs and detection/engagement ranges - 6/14/2010 1:38:44 AM   
Chief Rudiger

 

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Idea of the test map/scenario involved:




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RE: Problem with MGs and detection/engagement ranges - 6/14/2010 7:18:34 AM   
wodin


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The rate of fire I thought was very low for the Mg 42 (the bonesaw) at high rate of fire....very low indeed in the Est Editor can't remember what it was but it may be about 50 rounds a minute..high rate of fire should be more like 500...not much of a bonesaw at the moment..

< Message edited by wodin -- 6/14/2010 7:24:37 AM >


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RE: Problem with MGs and detection/engagement ranges - 6/14/2010 7:56:55 AM   
Arjuna


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re rates of fire. These are efffective rates not cyclical. Most WW2 light MGs has around 500 rds each. Yes they could easily fire all of that off in a few minutes if they so desired but then they would be out of ammo and pretty useless. Machine gunners were trained to fire in short aimed bursts of 3 to 5 rounds. Only in extreme cases, such as when the enemy are about to overrun would they fire sustained bursts of up to 20 rounds. Forget all the BS you see in the films. Besides if you do fire a large number of rounds continuously then the barrel overheats, leading to a cook-off - ie a round exploding inside the breach because the heat ignites the poweder in the casing. This is not good. If you happen to have a spare barrel then the overheated barrel has to be removed ( and you pray the bloody thing doesn't go off while you are doing this ). Then you have to replace the new barrel, insert the new belt and load. A really good crew can manage this in about two minutes. But that's two minutes in which your prime firepower weapon is out of action. Again not good. So you avoid this like the plague.

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RE: Problem with MGs and detection/engagement ranges - 6/14/2010 7:59:37 AM   
Arjuna


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CR,

Have you used the LOS and LOS Area tools to examine the ground. There may be dips in the ground that hide the units. Without the actual scenario, map and estab files I can only speculate here.

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RE: Problem with MGs and detection/engagement ranges - 6/14/2010 8:03:22 AM   
wodin


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Arjuna

re rates of fire. These are efffective rates not cyclical. Most WW2 light MGs has around 500 rds each. Yes they could easily fire all of that off in a few minutes if they so desired but then they would be out of ammo and pretty useless. Machine gunners were trained to fire in short aimed bursts of 3 to 5 rounds. Only in extreme cases, such as when the enemy are about to overrun would they fire sustained bursts of up to 20 rounds. Forget all the BS you see in the films. Besides if you do fire a large number of rounds continuously then the barrel overheats, leading to a cook-off - ie a round exploding inside the breach because the heat ignites the poweder in the casing. This is not good. If you happen to have a spare barrel then the overheated barrel has to be removed ( and you pray the bloody thing doesn't go off while you are doing this ). Then you have to replace the new barrel, insert the new belt and load. A really good crew can manage this in about two minutes. But that's two minutes in which your prime firepower weapon is out of action. Again not good. So you avoid this like the plague.


Not going by films here more first hand memiors all about defensive actions...some MG 42 crews fired of thousands of round during a defence...I understand what you mean maybe there should be a defence option that states Max ROF for those real scarey moments..I know I'm talking about a different war here but on the somme the average amount of ammo the MG gunners used was about 10,000 a gun during the day...

< Message edited by wodin -- 6/14/2010 8:09:33 AM >


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RE: Problem with MGs and detection/engagement ranges - 6/14/2010 8:04:49 AM   
Arjuna


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Well the code does increase the rate of fire at short ranges.

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RE: Problem with MGs and detection/engagement ranges - 6/14/2010 8:20:33 AM   
wodin


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OK cool..

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RE: Problem with MGs and detection/engagement ranges - 6/14/2010 8:44:30 AM   
GliderRecon

 

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"a) The high ground should give the defenders the ability to see the attackers as they move across open ground. In the game, despite the LOS tool showing uninterrupted LOS from the high ground, the attackers disappear after a few minutes moving about their deployment zone then reappear within a few hundred metres of the defenders."

I've just knocked-up a very quick version of Chief Rudiger's scenario and am seeing similar results i.e. attackers 'disappearing' then reappearring at v. close range.

Could it be an unintended side-effect of the assault task? The attackers seem to disappear just after their FUP.

I think the slopes may be a red herring as the phenomenon also occurs on totally flat maps.

< Message edited by GliderRecon -- 6/14/2010 9:27:24 AM >

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RE: Problem with MGs and detection/engagement ranges - 6/14/2010 9:33:27 AM   
Arjuna


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There is no such thing as a totally flat bit of terrain. When contours are added an algorythm is run over the map to cal spot heights. This can result in ssmall undulations in what looks like flat terrain. That's because the contour intervals can be quite big and there is undualtions of a ssize less than the contour interval - eg the undulations may be only a few metres while the ccontour interval may be 50m. But even a few metres maybe enough to rob you of a line of sight.

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RE: Problem with MGs and detection/engagement ranges - 6/14/2010 9:35:29 AM   
Arjuna


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Please do an area line of sight from the German unit on the high ground. If there are any locations that are dark or with no shading at all then these are blind spots. Also use the std LOS tool and position it on the German defending unit and drag it across. This will clearly show if there is any dead ground.

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RE: Problem with MGs and detection/engagement ranges - 6/14/2010 9:50:28 AM   
wodin


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Maybe I'm just finding it real hard against the Amis Arty...and I have read the germans hated it....I've never really noticed the Arty so dominent in the previous games....but then again the Arty the Americans have is far heavier than the units had in CotA.

Whoops just noticed your reply was for another post...still it's relevant.

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RE: Problem with MGs and detection/engagement ranges - 6/14/2010 11:19:59 AM   
GliderRecon

 

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Attached is a scen file that appears to illustrate the issue.

A 8km x 8km map, no terrain or elevations added. Brit force (HQ + 2 x inf coy + mortar plt) in S, attacking G force (army HQ) in N. Playing as G you will see the Brits move towards you, disappear a few km out, then reappear right next to you.

Might have missed something obvious, but there does appear to be something odd going on.

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RE: Problem with MGs and detection/engagement ranges - 6/14/2010 11:21:30 AM   
GliderRecon

 

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And the map file:

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RE: Problem with MGs and detection/engagement ranges - 6/14/2010 11:26:40 AM   
GliderRecon

 

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And a pic:




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RE: Problem with MGs and detection/engagement ranges - 6/14/2010 3:44:44 PM   
simovitch


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I looked into GliderRecon's file and there does seem to be something odd going on as the attacker consistently disappears at 3km range from the defender, even though the attacker is firing and moving.

The map and LOS area tool show perfectly smooth, flat ground. We'll have to take a look at this.

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RE: Problem with MGs and detection/engagement ranges - 6/14/2010 5:10:05 PM   
Chief Rudiger

 

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Not on my main machine so i can't post files but GliderRecon looks to have reproduced the LOS situation i am experiencing. As Simovitch points out, the LOS line and area tools do not show any dead ground.

As for MG ROF, obviously i'm not going on what i've seen in films, please, but as with Wodin, from what i've read in plentry of first hand accounts. The situation simulated in my scenario should be one of these situations, seeing as the German "Agro" and "Casualties" were set at MAX and the SEP and Base were so close.

Perhaps the proximity to resupply isn't modelled in the game, leading the Germans to conserve their ammunition, but even still, they seem to expend very little ammunition when their orders should encourage them to fire more. Regardless of ROF, i still feel the Germans should have been able to hold the position.

< Message edited by Chief Rudiger -- 6/14/2010 5:12:38 PM >

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RE: Problem with MGs and detection/engagement ranges - 6/14/2010 10:26:54 PM   
wodin


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Tow coys crossing a flat open terrian against what two or three MG42's....I imagine a fair few casualties here and the coy's pinned or retreat in real life...

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RE: Problem with MGs and detection/engagement ranges - 6/15/2010 9:18:07 PM   
GoodGuy

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin

..I know I'm talking about a different war here but on the somme the average amount of ammo the MG gunners used was about 10,000 a gun during the day...


Most of them were either water-cooled or oil-cooled MGs.

http://browningmgs.com/WC/SteamChests.htm

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RE: Problem with MGs and detection/engagement ranges - 6/16/2010 2:18:46 AM   
Panther Paul


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quote:

ORIGINAL: GliderRecon

Attached is a scen file that appears to illustrate the issue.

A 8km x 8km map, no terrain or elevations added. Brit force (HQ + 2 x inf coy + mortar plt) in S, attacking G force (army HQ) in N. Playing as G you will see the Brits move towards you, disappear a few km out, then reappear right next to you.

Might have missed something obvious, but there does appear to be something odd going on.


Hi,

Added as BT0039.


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RE: Problem with MGs and detection/engagement ranges - 6/16/2010 3:22:06 AM   
Panther Paul


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Hi,

Fixed.

There was an "optimisation" when doing LOS checks to enemy units less than 3K away, this actually made it less likely that they would be spoted!

Will do some load testing before we relase that patch to make sure this has not slowed the game down noticably.


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RE: Problem with MGs and detection/engagement ranges - 6/16/2010 8:15:53 AM   
Arjuna


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Paul,

I took a look at this myself today and found an error inside that optimisation code. It was using the location of the intel report instead of the actual location of the real force when determining if the enemy had moved ot not. Thus it never considered that the unit had moved which is why it failed to update the intel report. I haven't changed the code yet. Will do so tinight.

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RE: Problem with MGs and detection/engagement ranges - 6/16/2010 9:44:35 AM   
Arjuna


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Paul,

I've fixed this one and checked in ScenUnitThreat.cpp. Can you please undo any related change you may have made. Thanks.

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RE: Problem with MGs and detection/engagement ranges - 6/16/2010 8:23:02 PM   
GBS

 

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I love watching you guys work!

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RE: Problem with MGs and detection/engagement ranges - 5/31/2012 4:23:43 AM   
Central Blue

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Arjuna

Well the code does increase the rate of fire at short ranges.


If we knew the math for that we might be less tempted to fiddle with the numbers. If it was something like 4x, then the max rate of 50 for the German MG's under "normal circumstances" would make sense.

Enough questions for the night. Time to play the game.

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