Re Better modelling of Defenceive tactics - ie patrolling. We've given serious consideration to this issue. The most realistic method is to allow for recon units of say section/squad strength to be hived off from a unit and move them along a patrol route or setup a static position. However, this was disgarded for performance reasons it could easily double the number of units in a scenario if only half of them were defending and each put out one mobile and one static patrol. An alternative option is to model it abstractly with units on the defence committing a certain percentage of their strength to patrolling. We could then manage the patrol by events with a route calced and say every five minutes doing a detection test from the location along the route that we deem it to be at. However, this still requires a significant amount of processing to generate the routes and to do the LOS checks. A further more abstract option is to simply extend a patrol zone out from the unit and provide a percentage chance of detection against any enemy unit entering that zone. This would be economical from a processing perspective but would be fairly abstract.
I have been thinking about this problem a lot too recently, and think that for now, as an upgrade to BFTB, that you go with your third option:
"Simply extend a patrol zone out from the unit and provide a percentage chance of detection against any enemy units entering that zone. This would be economical from a pocessing perspective but would be fairly abstract".
I think BFTB needs this, as I have woken up in Bastogne as the Americans with German motorized units on my doorstep more than once, wondering how they got through. Your third option is not only simple and is better than nothing, but until you can get a more advanced system in place in a decade as computing power grows, it is also badly needed.
Increase chances of detection of units which make a lot of noise.
Increase chances of detection if on the road or at a cross roads (places most likely to be watched).
Make the effectiveness of the patrol depend on some combination of experience, leader efficiency, staff quality, % of estab, fitness, training, aggro, etc.
Ignore losses to patrols for now.
I highly recommend a super rudimentary patrol system, and then if players don't like its overly abstract nature, provide it as an option. But, understanding the limitations of: a) computing power, b) your programming time, I would be very happy with your "rudimentary" system as it would be better than no system at all. Should be at least an ABSTRACT patrolling system noticing how often mechanized units get close to, around, and even into Bastogne --and even right in behind 4-5 of my units which had formed a tight "U" (I kid you not, a unit of 9 STUGIIIs appeared within 200 to 300 meters)--overnight without anyone having detected this. As I said, time and increased computing power will make better simulations possible in the future. But we need abstract now. :)
Yes, your recommendation is "abstract", but it would be less abstract than the system in place now. :)
Perhaps you can even add a new button, "patrol aggro" and "patrol range" if you want to go one step beyond "abstract" and assume some losses from "overlapping patrols" with enemy units occassionally. However, I would assume that there are no direct losses from combat and these are all resolved as is--except for the new "patrol" interaction. Patrol aggressiveness and range would all have an effect on % chance of spotting enemy units.
< Message edited by Marshal Villars -- 1/16/2011 4:09:48 PM >