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Rout....again.... - 1/22/2012 9:07:37 PM   
phoenix

 

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I'm not terribly sure what the point of posting these things is anymore, because so many people have complained about routing behaviour (at least, that's my impression) and I'm not sure what another post will add to it, since I think there's not actually any plans to look at it again. But it's so annoying.

So here I am doing Piper's Race to the Meuse and the 2.501 - a company of 7 Tiger II tanks, no less - takes no problem the northern of the two objective bridges in Trois Ponts. The southern has already been abandoned (and unprepped, I assume, from the replacement of the pink bridge indicator with a white one) and the engineer company guarding it has surrendered. That leaves A.526 - another engineer company - stuck in the middle of a nasty onslaught from all directions. That unit, I think, should rout. or certainly retreat very quickly.

Instead, in the minutes before the snap was taken, my Tigers roll over the bridge, set up where I've marked the defensive line in white and start engaging the US engineers (who have, I should add, one AT gun). That AT gun, I assume, is lucky enough to knock out one Tiger. It's a big deal, I agree. And they did a good job, those US engineers. But then the remaining six Tigers rout???!!! I'm sorry, but I just don't get it. I can understand them retreating to have a think. But rout?! That means total chaos, hell-for-leather back over the bridge to where I've snapped them for the shot below. Surely, that shouldn't happen to a company of SS Tigers, just like that. Surely they should have assessed the threat and responded? Even if the response was only a retreat?




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< Message edited by phoenix -- 1/22/2012 9:12:56 PM >
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RE: Rout....again.... - 1/22/2012 9:10:42 PM   
phoenix

 

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They look like this, right now, cowering north of the bridge they've just taken then fled back over....


Ok, they're not too experienced, but they've got very high scores for many other areas.

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< Message edited by phoenix -- 1/22/2012 9:11:31 PM >

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RE: Rout....again.... - 1/23/2012 8:45:35 AM   
Wiggum


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From the manual:
quote:

Units behave differently when retreating and routing. Retreating units will attempt to maintain
formation and will keep facing the enemy as they fall back. They will retain some cohesion and combat
capability. Routing units will abandon their formation and turn their backs on the enemy; they become
much more vulnerable to enemy fire and are unable to effectively engage enemy threats. Routing units
will move away from the enemy as fast as they can (because they are fleeing for their lives, they move
faster than other units).


So will routing tanks turn around (what would be really dangerous for them in such a situation) and drive to safety ?
Retreating (units will attempt to maintain formation and will keep facing the enemy) is would sounds much more realistic for this situation.

< Message edited by Wiggum -- 1/23/2012 8:46:09 AM >

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RE: Rout....again.... - 1/23/2012 8:55:19 AM   
phoenix

 

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That's what I thought too, Wiggum - that a rout was just too much and too dangerous, because it implies a lack of command and control - just panic. One Tiger down and the remaining 6 panic, turn around and flee. Essentially because of 1 AT gun. What I would have expected was an orderly retreat then a plan to deal with the gun.

I have no save, of course, and I'm not even suggesting this is a 'bug', because the behaviour is observable pretty frequently, like it's part of the design. It's the way it's set up, I believe, but it doesn't feel right. I keep saying this - people are reacting to how it feels when they complain about this routing behaviour. Now, there may be a (sort of scientific) justification for it, it may be that my expectations are way-off. But I'd like to know about that, in that case. Because at the moment it feels unrealistic. After all, it wouldn't take too much (as we know from bitter experience) for all 6 tanks to surrender once they're in a rout state (an arty barrage, perhaps...). Once again, I'm glad they didn't rout into the engineers - as would have happened pre-patch (followed then very quickly by a surrender) - but I really think they shouldn't have routed at all.

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RE: Rout....again.... - 1/23/2012 10:40:23 AM   
wodin


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Code really needs looking at with regards to routing and to a lesser degree retreating. I still feel unless hwere talking about porrly trained low moral troops a rout shouldn't really happy, a tactical retreat yes, but not a rout. Also as said above in that situation the Tanks would have backed out and then planned their attack on the Unit.

This is where more messages could be handy (as mentioned in the feature request more messages would be a godsend with regards to info feedback, again though you receive them with a delay and they can be filtered). In this situation the Tanks should have retreated and then assessed the situation, if they thought they need back up a message could be sent saying "2Coy 501. Request back up. Lost one AFV and need more Inf\AFV (which ever would be best) to take out ...(insert enemy units\s)". That way your made aware something has happened and needs to be looked at. Or if the unit feels like it can take out the enemy on it's own, they should have backed out and then automatically planned an assault on the enemy taking the best route to attack. This is where I feel those 6 remaining tanks in real life would have split up to take out the gun from two angles..which is beyond the game engine. However I would have liked to see that unit retreat then manuevre into a great attacking position using cover to try and attack from the side or even better from behind and then assualted\took out the enemy without the need of input from the player.

What I think is happening is that the game is so complex and takes in alot of different info to see how a unit reacts at that moment and in some cases it works OK but in others it doesn't work at all. I suppose maybe the routing behaviour is pretty generic and once a set criteria is met then it happens...however I think the criteria needs to be specialised for each type of unit.Though the coding would I expect get out of control. Maybe needs some adjustments when dealing with unit stats and routing behaviour, I do believe that only untrained low motivated\passive and low moral troops should rout often.

Oh I also think routing takes into account what percentage of casualties the unit has taken..which means when your dealing with 7 tanks losing one the game thinks thats a big force loss in one go. Kind of using the same calculation as say an Infantry unit, where losing 1\6th of your force in a brief firefight is a worrying amount of loss. If it does work like this then maybe casualties should be worked out differently when dealing with tanks and how the game takes it into account or casualties shouldn't be the deciding factor when dealing with certain units. Again I'm guessing here.

< Message edited by wodin -- 1/23/2012 10:52:54 AM >


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RE: Rout....again.... - 1/23/2012 11:15:54 AM   
phoenix

 

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Agree with all of that, Wodin. In the game above what happened next was that the US engineers (or Arm Inf Co - not sure which it is in reality - the A.526) came under fire from the Panthers of the 2.1, up on the hill behind them. That was the end of the AT gun and they then routed. I assume 2.1 had a better position than 2.501. I wouldn't have minded at all if the 2.501 had simply retreated and let the 2.1 deal with it. But no, they are now out of action for about an hour, recovering from the rout. That's 6 Tigers sitting around doing nothing for about an hour because 1 Tiger was knocked out. That doesn't work at all for me. And meanwhile other friendly units are streaming past them across the brdige.

And should the A.526 have stuck in there, trapped, until a rout was inevitable? The alternative was to swim the river. They didn't go for it and once my Engineers (the 3.1) joined in the US unit lost almost 80 men in about half an hour (it had already routed). It will surrender in due course, I assume. A plucky unit, perhaps - and I have no idea what its orders were - but if I were the Yanks I'd want them swimming the river when 7 Tigers and 15 Panthers started rolling in, plus Inf support. Not that that's the point I'm querying. I can understand the behaviour of the A.526 at least. Can't understand the fleeing Tigers.

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RE: Rout....again.... - 1/23/2012 2:30:41 PM   
RockinHarry


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quote:

ORIGINAL: phoenix

They look like this, right now, cowering north of the bridge they've just taken then fled back over....


Ok, they're not too experienced, but they've got very high scores for many other areas.


I suspect the strange rout could be of the same reason as speculated here:

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/fb.asp?m=3005422

The Tiger Coy started the game at 50% ESTAB, so that additional loss, where combined with the 50% morale ("Ok") gets it to quite a brittle state.

I also can not confirm that any previous routing towards enemy units got fixed. I have that quite oftenly happening, with "rout recovery" units settling into the mids of enemy units in sorts of a hedgehog position, which got them killed after a couple of hours.

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RE: Rout....again.... - 1/23/2012 3:08:06 PM   
phoenix

 

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Oh. Well that's bad news, Harry. I must say, it's very off-putting when this kind of thing happens.

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RE: Rout....again.... - 1/24/2012 2:35:16 AM   
Arjuna


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Is the above based on patch #2 or patch #3? If it's patch #2, then download patch #3 and let me know how that goes.

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RE: Rout....again.... - 1/24/2012 2:48:55 AM   
Major SNAFU


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um,  I am not sure I understand the problems here (although I don't have the time in on the game that others posting here do).

Let me outline what I see:

A Tiger unit that is at 50% strength with "50%" morale and also with good training but not so much experience is advancing without  suppressive arty fire on an engineering units with an AT asset.

Suddenly one of the tiger tanks is knocked out by "something".  Why is it so surprising that they rout?  "They" don't know what knocked out the tiger; "They" don't know that there is only one AT gun

Is it really that unrealistic that a unit in that condition would cause a unit in this condition to "run away"?

I guess I would like to know if the Tigers were on attack orders, and what the settings were.  I would expect that if you wanted them to take losses in their condition and then press forward that you would need Max Aggro and Max loss.  I am not sure about Max ROF.

just my 2 cents...



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RE: Rout....again.... - 1/24/2012 5:03:08 AM   
BASB


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Major S very well put. Computer gamers don't rout in this situation cos they don't personally feel the losses. In RL uncertainty causes all sorts of behaviour They is the behaviour setting and I guess still no guarantees. Just my 2 bobs worth.

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RE: Rout....again.... - 1/24/2012 6:29:48 AM   
phoenix

 

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Interesting, Major S. Thanks. Maybe my expectations are out. They were on orders to secure the crossing with Attack checked and Max aggro. They were the advance of a battalion + strength attack. They had whatever arty they chose to call. So, not so good still, maybe. I realise their morale is low but what did they expect when they've just crossed the bridge? (and exchanged fire already with the US unit with the gun (so not a completely unknown quantity - they already pushed it back from the bridge). They had just evicted the US unit, so they knew it was there. One of them gets hit, they would have been expecting resistence - they're the advance guard. This is their job. So they pull back carefully and re-think. You really think they should turn their tanks round in a panic and hole up for more than hour half a kilometre away, whilst the rest of the battallion attack flows past them?

Thanks Arjuna. It's patch 2. Didn't know patch 3 was out! Will look for it now.

< Message edited by phoenix -- 1/24/2012 8:28:58 AM >

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RE: Rout....again.... - 1/24/2012 6:31:49 AM   
phoenix

 

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Dave, can't find patch 3 anywhere. It's not out yet, is it?

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RE: Rout....again.... - 1/24/2012 10:02:45 AM   
JiminyJickers


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Arjuna

Is the above based on patch #2 or patch #3? If it's patch #2, then download patch #3 and let me know how that goes.


Is patch 3 out allready? I don't see it in the download section or the Matrix Games Membership section either.

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RE: Rout....again.... - 1/24/2012 10:50:10 AM   
Arjuna


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Ok I thought it was being released along with the HTTR Ex Pack. I need to check on that.

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RE: Rout....again.... - 1/24/2012 12:14:22 PM   
phoenix

 

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Well, the add-on isn't released yet either, Dave.

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RE: Rout....again.... - 1/24/2012 2:27:42 PM   
GBS

 

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Dave, does the 3rd patch address some of the questions about routing that were brought up in other threads?

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RE: Rout....again.... - 1/24/2012 3:17:47 PM   
phoenix

 

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+1 to that query GBS. I assumed that what Dave meant was that there are, if I recall what was said, some changes to Axis starting morale and equipment - which is not the same, though it might mean that this unit wouldn't rout, because there would be more Tigers and a higher starting morale. But that will still leave the 'issue' - the impression many have that a rout happens when it should be a retreat (and a retreat happens when they should hold out). The problem, if it is such, is that many would think that this unit as configured above shouldn't rout under these circs. But i could be wrong about what's in patch 3. maybe there's more changes than that to rout behaviour. So +1 to the query.

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RE: Rout....again.... - 1/24/2012 3:48:40 PM   
Tophat1812

 

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Thanks for this thread fellows as its the first i have heard about patch#3 being released or at imminent release status. I'll have to restart and replay the game and scenarios again and obviously buy the new expansion. Question will the new expansion automatically update the game to patch33 status?

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RE: Rout....again.... - 1/24/2012 3:52:32 PM   
wodin


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Major SNAFU

um,  I am not sure I understand the problems here (although I don't have the time in on the game that others posting here do).

Let me outline what I see:

A Tiger unit that is at 50% strength with "50%" morale and also with good training but not so much experience is advancing without  suppressive arty fire on an engineering units with an AT asset.

Suddenly one of the tiger tanks is knocked out by "something".  Why is it so surprising that they rout?  "They" don't know what knocked out the tiger; "They" don't know that there is only one AT gun

Is it really that unrealistic that a unit in that condition would cause a unit in this condition to "run away"?

I guess I would like to know if the Tigers were on attack orders, and what the settings were.  I would expect that if you wanted them to take losses in their condition and then press forward that you would need Max Aggro and Max loss.  I am not sure about Max ROF.

just my 2 cents...





Yet thats still an issue...your starting off with troops that are scared out of their wits already so really aren't upto much..and where talking SS units here...

I think moral should drop to very very low levels before a rout happens..or moral in the game shouldn't drop so quickly if your dealing with experienced well trained, aggressive and stubborn troops, Volkstrum units or units with little experience is in my opinion the way the game models all units at the moment when it comes to routing and moral standards...moral can still be high in certain units even of they've suffered alot of casualties, in the face of adversity and all that, plus a loss of fear and a numb fatal attitude can prevail. Put it this way Arnhem would have been over before you knew it if it played out along the lines of the Panther Game mechanic...

That unit lost one tank..has average moral (around 50%) is stubborn and aggressive, yet they lost one tank and ran away. Also an SS unit (weren't they fanatical,,lets die for Hitler and all that). Sorry doesn't seem right to me. A retreat yes..a blind panic lets get out of here and show our rears to the enemy,. hide for an hour or so as their trying to organise themselves and pluck up courage I expect...I personally don't see it.

As stated a retreat would have definitely occurred, there to me is a massive difference between routing troops and retreating troops. If they had lost say three or four tanks very quickly then yes a rout would happen, one or two I expect a quick retreat out of LOS. Very rarely in all the books I've read did troops rout in blind panic especially fanatic or experienced troops (experience being very important far more than training, through experience they will know how to retreat, when to retreat and to keep their nerve as they will know that panicing will mean more casualties). I know that unit was inexperienced but it was an SS unit and was stubborn and aggressive which I'd have thought would have made up for a lack of experience.

< Message edited by wodin -- 1/24/2012 4:05:51 PM >


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RE: Rout....again.... - 1/24/2012 3:54:05 PM   
GBS

 

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Unless I misunderstand....the HTTR addon needs #3 patch to work.

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RE: Rout....again.... - 1/24/2012 4:07:31 PM   
phoenix

 

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In fact they were recovering from the rout for nearly two hours....

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RE: Rout....again.... - 1/24/2012 4:34:26 PM   
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I'd have court martial the lot of em...

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RE: Rout....again.... - 1/24/2012 4:46:43 PM   
Major SNAFU


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Hi all,

@ Phoenix and wodin.  I absolutely see your points.

My follow up questions are:

1) Do the units in BftB have a memory?;  and is this taken into account for their actions?  In other words, does that Tiger unit "remember" that it just engaged this engineer unit and pushed it back, or once contact is broken and then remade is it all a fresh evaluation made by the AI.  If the later, then it doesn't "know" anything except what is happening right now, right in front of it, and its reacted might need to be considered in that light.

2) I think, and my reading of history I think backs me up and certainly my experience does, that is situations like this the "experience" factor is probably much more important that the training and even the morale.

I am not sure that I agree that low morale=rout automatically.  I can, and have seen, situations where I would have said the person have good morale, and if they were in control of themselves, they would stick.  Being panicked is more about being over come/over taken by events, not that you suddenly feel that you/your unit/your equipment are no longer of value.  And it only takes one person to "loose it" to infect an entire group (a person is intelligent, smart and discerning - people are dumb, panicky and dangerously stupid).

Edit: Morale does, at its heart speak about the confidence and enthusiasm of the person/unit. But isn't it possible to have confidence in your equipment, etc. and still be overcome by events? "I know my nomex suit is going to protect me, command hasn't given the clear the building code - but I have never been in a building fire like this and that guy over there just cut and ran. Maybe I should run to?"

But coming back to experience, which this unit in question lacks, is the certain knowledge that the defecation can strike the rotary oscillator and yet you can still come out on top.  This can't really be trained - not in the sense I am talking about.

I have seen rock-solid EMTs and Firefighters who are the stars of training, etc. become unglued under pressure when I would have thought nothing would have fazed them.  They don't have the experience to step out of themselves and see the situation impersonally and make good judgements thereby. And I would not, in those circumstances say that they had low morale. Training teaches you what should and might be, only experience teaches you what is and will be.

Again, I speak as a relative newby to BftB. Dave will have to address some of the questions.

just my 2 cents



< Message edited by Major SNAFU -- 1/24/2012 5:01:14 PM >


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RE: Rout....again.... - 1/24/2012 11:09:30 PM   
phoenix

 

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Great 2 cents MSnaf. Lol at the rotary oscillator.

Great question about unit memory. See if Dave replies.

And true about all those things that could make those Tigers turn tail. If we use our imaginations we can fill in ways that the game has got it right. So, we could imagine that their low experience in fact entails that this unit has never seen combat before - they're highly trained in tigers, but they haven't done the real thing. Then a Tiger burns. So they all infect each other and run. Despite all that training - which would tell them that if they turn their arses to the gun they're more vulnerable. It's possible.

But it seems to happen a lot. That's my problem. So you can't plan with a steady set of expectations (or you could - but you would have to assume that you're best assets might get jittery and run at any point). If I saw more of them retreating and planning a response (I do see this, i should add) then I'd be happier. The rout should be exceptional behaviour. It seems to happen at, say, 50% moral etc at the moment, but if it was 10% I'd be happier, say. Though you have to leave room for them to walk out with their hands up, leaving their Tigers chugging away for souvenir hunters (many of them in RL in this battlefield, and several Tigers still adorning village squares as a consequence [I live here, in Belgium]).

In this battle this unit went on - once it had recovered - to act as a probe out to the far west - to the Werboment exit objective. There it really did get into serious difficulties running into US airborne units (the 82nd?). But, it didn't rout as tank after tank was knocked out over a seven hour period. In the end it was down to 2 Tigers. It routed, then surrendered. Had it learned from previous experience? We're back to the memory question. But I think not. I rather think the behaviour is capricious. After all, as far as I've observed, the experience slider doesn't go up after they've taken a bashing. Am I worng?

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RE: Rout....again.... - 1/25/2012 12:01:14 AM   
TMO

 

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Chaps

I have been following this discussion with great interest. I have come across (and I'm sure you have too) first-hand accounts where routs are described in great detail (for instance in 'The Recollections of Rifleman Bowlby' - Alex Bowlby describes trying to run hell-for-leather with his pants around his ankles!) - they undoubtably occurred and we are all agreed upon this. My question is : are armoured unit and infantry unit routs treated in the same way? Infantry, I imagine, just run when routed (one man running can set the rest going). Armour, I imagine, withdraw (the commander is in radio contact and therefore more able to exert his influence over his subordinates) until it's safe to 'run'. Can anyone advise?

Regards

Tim

< Message edited by TMO -- 1/25/2012 12:19:14 AM >

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RE: Rout....again.... - 1/25/2012 12:34:22 AM   
Arjuna


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Re unit memory. Short answer = yes but is limited. We store the direction and amount of fires received over the last 20 minutes ( IIRC ). That way we can determine if they have received fire from a previously unknown direction. We have an event log that can tell us wheterh they did a certain action before. For the various SOPs we store the time and place of the last occurence of these and if this is within the designated duration then we'll probably ignore this SOP when considering reactions for the current minute. There's probably a few other things but that is what comes to mind right now and I don't have access to the code in front of me.

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RE: Rout....again.... - 1/25/2012 4:41:39 PM   
wodin


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Anybody tried the latest patch yet..notice any improvements in this area?

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RE: Rout....again.... - 1/25/2012 9:41:15 PM   
phoenix

 

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Thanks Dave. Interesting. Their 'memory' is about the equivalent of a wasp, once converted to the real world (wasp is 9 seconds I believe - at least on full speed BFTB might work out like that....)

Still works though, overall, I would say.

Now what I would like to see is every single unit retains a memory of every single thing that has happened to it and its characteristics and behaviour are altered accordingly....:) Or the east front game. Or, indeed, the HTTR add-on.

You have to remember - when you're querying BFTB and the engine (or I do, anyway) - how utterly non-existent the AI is in other games - all other games. Just gave up doing Steel Beasts (again) because it is absolutley preposterous that you should be expected - in the heat of combat - to give orders, as the commander, to every single bloody unit on the map in order to get them to step beyond the bloody scripting and do something sensible. Of course it's a great FPS for tankers, but seriously, if you want to play it beyond that (and it has such amazing promise, such tempting possibilities!) and actually do some simulation of a commander in a tank, or other vehicle, then it's absurd. No AI at all beyond simple reactions.

Haven't got round to the patch yet, Wodin. But going there now..

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RE: Rout....again.... - 2/2/2012 10:33:19 PM   
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Hi all,

Sorry to resurrect this thread to page one, but now that I have and am reading the HTTR strategy Guide I notice on page 24 that there are two paragraphs that seem to bear on this matter.

It points out that the Permanent characteristics for morale (Training, Experience and Fitness) are far more important that then Temporary factors (Morale, Cohesion,Fatigue, Suppression) and that having high permanent factors is far more important to keeping a unit (even a unit with initially high temporary factors) in the fight.

So this make sense that these Tigers with poor training, experience and Fitness cannot stick for any amount of time once their temporary factors have taken an hit, and that the temporary factors will fall off faster because of the low permanent factors.

I am guessing that the low experience is showing its weight in this instance.

Make sense?




< Message edited by Major SNAFU -- 2/2/2012 10:34:04 PM >


_____________________________

"Popular Opinion? What I suggest you do with 'Popular Opinion' is biologically impossible and morally questionable." - T. Bartlet Rile, Prof. Irish History in Frank Delany's "Ireland: A Novel."

(in reply to phoenix)
Post #: 30
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