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RE: Formations - Progress

 
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RE: Formations - Progress - 2/10/2013 4:33:55 PM   
navwarcol

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: dazkaz15

I'm not sure if the problem I see when the footprints overlap is just about casualties.

I think the surrender mechanics might be a bit out as well.

I usually try to get a complete encirclement with a lot of the isolated units entrenched in forests, or other high cover areas, and not only are they not taking casualties, there not surrendering either.

I know you are trying to get a realistic casualty figure, but does this include realistic surrendering figures.

If my tactics are a lot different than those used historically, like I said I like to surround my enemy so when they are routed they can't get away, would there not be a lot different figures than those used historically.

What I'm trying to say is I hope you're not forfeiting a plausible a historical outcome for the sake of historical figures, because It won't work in a game like this that allows you to do tactics that were not used historically.

I would much rather the results where plausible than historical.


I use the same tactics Dazkaz15. I have the same concern... we already know the historic results, but I hope it is able with different tactics to have different results.

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RE: Formations - Progress - 2/10/2013 10:40:27 PM   
Arjuna


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OK fair enough. I'll look into it.

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Post #: 62
RE: Formations - Progress - 2/10/2013 11:47:19 PM   
phoenix

 

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When I played We Fight and Die Here yesterday I managed to surround a TD unit (intel said 4 tanks) on the very top of Dom Butgenbach and I had infantry, tanks and arty slogging away at it for over two hours. It was dug in, entrenched. Mist. The footprints overlapped, even the counters, I think, at various points. It showed no casualties for two hours, then suddenly 1 tank down. A few minutes later it bolted about 300 metres, routing, and then showed as 'destroyed'. It seemed plausible, though not sure if it was. Gritty unit, dug in, hulls down. Held out because it had no options. As soon as they broke and were out in the open they were knocked out. Probably they'd run out of ammo by then too. There's a narrative you could write to cover it, at any rate. It was facing odds over 10 to 1 though. I suppose I'd expect it to have run sooner, or surrendered, even if I hadn't got a hit. Look forward to seeing what happens in that sort of situation with the new build (this week...)

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Post #: 63
RE: Formations - Progress - 2/11/2013 12:40:37 AM   
BigDuke66


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"Held out because it had no options."
That point is interesting, what if the unit has no choice but to fight or surrender?
If their position is entrenched and moral high I wouldn't wonder if they would hold out even when pounded by every barrel around them, a good entrenchment level should keep their casualties and suppression down, the unit would simply keep their heads down and wait for the other side to expose them self so the encircled unit could finally take some good shots at the enemy.
Altogether this case would mean a slow grind till the encircled unit is finished, I guess only thing that would help are some really heavy artillery pieces making it clear that holding out is no option.

In the other extreme I would expect to see a unit exposed, low on moral and getting pounded out of every direction surrender quiet fast.

In both cases the values of the officer and the ammo level should also be used for the calculation, even the best units throw the towel when lead poorly and running out of ammo.

Could a more drastic effect on the moral level achieve this?
Maybe by considering what enemy presence is around a unit and how strong it is and counting against it the presence of friendly units, so that 2 or 3 battalions could hold out longer when being encircled together instead of each for them self.

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Post #: 64
RE: Formations - Progress - 2/11/2013 8:51:05 AM   
Arjuna


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One thing I did today was revise the code that applied modifiers to hit prob for units being close together. Basically I have added an extra level ( previously it applies a modifier where the range was less than 100m and anopther less than 50m ). It now has one for less than 10 - ie overlapping. I increased the hit prob for all three cases and I removed the restriction that this code was only invoked if the target was in cover. It now applies everywhere except for urban terrain.

I made quite a number of tweaks to the fire, suppression and retreat/rout code. I removed some code from the retreat algorythm which was in effect penalising a force twice for recent cas. this was having the effect of making it more likely that a force routed. I also paired back some of the modifiers reducing the variation range for these. I played through thew tutorial a couple of times - the last time , all the way through. There is now more cases of retreating and less of routing. So wodin can be pleased with that one. I need to run a series of run throughs of the tutorial, record the stats, average the results and then decide whther its good enough.

But the first full run through resulted in the Americans taking 20% lossess over the four days. Given their posture and force ratio that's about right. Whereas with the previous patch bombardment would account for say 60 to 70% of cas, it now accounts for 28%, with AArm 24% and APer 38%. This result may be low or high compared to the average, so I'll wait till I have these before declaring it ready.

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Post #: 65
RE: Formations - Progress - 2/11/2013 10:32:52 AM   
phoenix

 

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Do you control the arty much yourself when you do this, Dave? Just asking as I always find much higher arty casualties if I control some of it myself to any substantial extent. That might be a different point - how effective is the AI at bringing in arty fire? Quite often I take control because I can't see anything happening to break up attacks, clear objective rings etc. I used to think it would be 'most realistic' if I let the AI control all my arty, but, frankly, I now find it difficult to draw most scenarios if I do that.

The enemy arty is a bane in this gamne, because it's so effective. But that's obviously the way it was in real life, if you even read the stats for percentages killed. I wouldn't want it any differently. A drop from 70 to 28 seems a lot, though, as you imply, depends what happened in the actual fight.

Less routing more retreating sounds like it will make a lot of us happier - until we notice the enemy, surrounded, outgunned and hanging on, retreating a few hundred yards, coming back at it after a pause, again and again...never dying... etc.....I'm sure you can't win, Dave.
Looking forward to this new build. :)

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Post #: 66
RE: Formations - Progress - 2/11/2013 11:47:32 AM   
Arjuna


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These testing games are all done AI v AI with no human input other that by me to start the thing running.

Yes I know I can't win. It's writ large in the sky, in my genes and now in this forum. T'was ever thus.

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Post #: 67
RE: Formations - Progress - 2/11/2013 12:48:46 PM   
RockinHarry


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Arjuna

One thing I did today was revise the code that applied modifiers to hit prob for units being close together. Basically I have added an extra level ( previously it applies a modifier where the range was less than 100m and anopther less than 50m ). It now has one for less than 10 - ie overlapping. I increased the hit prob for all three cases and I removed the restriction that this code was only invoked if the target was in cover. It now applies everywhere except for urban terrain.

I made quite a number of tweaks to the fire, suppression and retreat/rout code. I removed some code from the retreat algorythm which was in effect penalising a force twice for recent cas. this was having the effect of making it more likely that a force routed. I also paired back some of the modifiers reducing the variation range for these. I played through thew tutorial a couple of times - the last time , all the way through. There is now more cases of retreating and less of routing. So wodin can be pleased with that one. I need to run a series of run throughs of the tutorial, record the stats, average the results and then decide whther its good enough.

But the first full run through resulted in the Americans taking 20% lossess over the four days. Given their posture and force ratio that's about right. Whereas with the previous patch bombardment would account for say 60 to 70% of cas, it now accounts for 28%, with AArm 24% and APer 38%. This result may be low or high compared to the average, so I'll wait till I have these before declaring it ready.


That sounds very promising! Looking forward to test, hopefully next public beta with this!

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Post #: 68
RE: Formations - Progress - 2/11/2013 12:53:53 PM   
Alchenar

 

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It's nice to read about the progress being made.

I just want to re-iterate that my specific concern stems from the Joe's Bridge scenario - you have a 30 man static flak unit that will rout almost immediately but can't run and won't surrender and doesn't take casualties - so unless you are very precise with your orders and get a bit of luck, that flak unit which should simply be overrun and disintegrate without much hesitation can actually hold up the Allied attack for the entire evening as units can't bypass it.

It would be soothing to know that the changes are being tested against that circumstance (and if other players also see this issue occur).

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RE: Formations - Progress - 2/11/2013 4:20:24 PM   
wodin


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Thanks Dave!

28% Sounds right if there isn't much Arty in the scenario and alot of Inf fighting close combat. I think alot of Arty kills where pre battle bombardment I reckon which happens pre scenario most of the time as a scenario usually starts at the time of the Inf\AFV assault. The tutorial I think if I remember properly is a scenario that doesn't have mass Arty so again I think 28% is sound.

In a long 10 day scenario with loads of Arty I expect that to rise substantially though. You also need to remember if we say there aren't enough small arms casualties they have to be taken off something else and that is Arty casualties..otherwise we will have way more casualties than is historical..really it's down to maths.

< Message edited by wodin -- 2/11/2013 6:26:41 PM >


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RE: Formations - Progress - 2/11/2013 9:50:48 PM   
navwarcol

 

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I would agree with Wodin. I think it must be sometimes tiresome for the designer to be asked to tweak this, then that, only to find that when he tweaked 'that' it messed 'this' back up... I feel for Dave and the many other designers who sometimes must feel they are going in circles....but these products are worth it in the end. For myself, a product such as this one, virtually guarantees I will buy the next from Panther, as well.

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RE: Formations - Progress - 2/11/2013 11:22:01 PM   
Arjuna


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alchenar

It's nice to read about the progress being made.

I just want to re-iterate that my specific concern stems from the Joe's Bridge scenario - you have a 30 man static flak unit that will rout almost immediately but can't run and won't surrender and doesn't take casualties - so unless you are very precise with your orders and get a bit of luck, that flak unit which should simply be overrun and disintegrate without much hesitation can actually hold up the Allied attack for the entire evening as units can't bypass it.

It would be soothing to know that the changes are being tested against that circumstance (and if other players also see this issue occur).


How about this?




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RE: Formations - Progress - 2/11/2013 11:25:04 PM   
Arjuna


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And just to prove the point.




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Post #: 73
RE: Formations - Progress - 2/11/2013 11:32:41 PM   
Arjuna


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And success goes to the Irish Guards. I used the just overhauled successive lines formation for the attack. It worked a treat.

The 3rd Irish Guards across the river have just had their advance guard pushed back by the German counterattack coming from the north. But I'm confident they will hold.




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Arjuna -- 2/11/2013 11:34:26 PM >


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RE: Formations - Progress - 2/12/2013 3:22:35 AM   
Arjuna


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I finished the six runs through of the tutorial. The cas results are:

  • US

    • Pers = 15% ave - 11% min - 19% max
    • AFV = 17% ave - 13% min - 24% max
    • Gun = 10% ave - 7% min - 13% max

  • German

    • Pers = 50% ave - 42% min - 62% max
    • AFV = 54% ave - 30% min - 65% max
    • Gun = 54% ave - 42% min - 64% max



According to Dupuy (Numbers Predictions and War) the attacking Americans should have lost 17% pers, 20% AFV and 7% guns. So we're pretty close. Within the acceptable margins I reckon. The losses for the defending Germans were higher that I expected but the particular scenario is a difficult for the Germans. So I am going to leave things with the combat sytstem as they are now and go back to the ormations.

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RE: Formations - Progress - 2/12/2013 8:24:57 AM   
dazkaz15


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Thanks for all the hard work Dave.

Im looking forward to playing a dynamic game again.
It was starting to feel more like WW1 than WW2.

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RE: Formations - Progress - 2/12/2013 1:59:31 PM   
Alchenar

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Arjuna

How about this?



Thanks!

I have to admit that given the choice my preference would be for the game to get the tempo of operations right before making sure that the end-result casualties look right (though I know the two are related).

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RE: Formations - Progress - 2/12/2013 2:04:11 PM   
phoenix

 

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tempo of ops? what do you mean, Alch?

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RE: Formations - Progress - 2/12/2013 4:35:46 PM   
wodin


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alchenar


quote:

ORIGINAL: Arjuna

How about this?



Thanks!

I have to admit that given the choice my preference would be for the game to get the tempo of operations right before making sure that the end-result casualties look right (though I know the two are related).



I do always feel I have to push my troops alot harder and faster than they should be to take the OBJ's in the set time..always clicking rest off..rarely do I feel I can rest troops..and push them to exhaustion, if I didn't I'd not be able to get the OBJ's on time.

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RE: Formations - Progress - 2/12/2013 6:50:19 PM   
navwarcol

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin


quote:

ORIGINAL: Alchenar


quote:

ORIGINAL: Arjuna

How about this?



Thanks!

I have to admit that given the choice my preference would be for the game to get the tempo of operations right before making sure that the end-result casualties look right (though I know the two are related).



I do always feel I have to push my troops alot harder and faster than they should be to take the OBJ's in the set time..always clicking rest off..rarely do I feel I can rest troops..and push them to exhaustion, if I didn't I'd not be able to get the OBJ's on time.

Yes.. can just see the little pixeltruppen "Damn General Wodin... never see HIM out here marching all night with no sleep....!"

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RE: Formations - Progress - 2/12/2013 9:15:33 PM   
Alchenar

 

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Well obviously the whole theme of the Battle of the Bulge and Market Garden is 'oh god, my troops aren't attacking as fast as they need to and the whole plan is falling behind schedule', so I expect to have this problem.

The point is that the casualty issue isn't important because I care about getting the historical number of casualties per se, it's important because it means that in particular small units can have a horribly disproportionate effect on an operation's timetable by virtue of existing when they should not.

I would be happy with a solution that fixed the second problem even if it didn't manage to get casualties to a historic level.


e: ideally of course casualties are inflicted at historic rates and the emergent effect of that is that attacks proceed at the correct rate, but perfection sometimes isn't possible.

< Message edited by Alchenar -- 2/12/2013 9:18:19 PM >

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RE: Formations - Progress - 2/12/2013 9:45:02 PM   
phoenix

 

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Ah. Entiendo! It's true that all the scenarios are a mad rush and leave less time than desired for fine tuning. But maybe the latest casualty tweak will change that a little, in that those tiny units won't hold things up as much.

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RE: Formations - Progress - 2/14/2013 12:04:24 AM   
jimcarravallah

 

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No rest reminds me of a truism I discovered on the job.

When everything's defined as a crisis nothing is a "crisis."

As Jim Morrison said: When all else fails, we can whip the horse's eyes . . .

Given your admitted preference for smaller scenarios (and I assume shorter duration) pushing the troops to the limit makes sense.

Over longer periods of time, makes more sense for the commander to allow units some respite from the battle to address morale and cohesion over the term.



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RE: Formations - Progress - 2/14/2013 1:19:59 AM   
wodin


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Jim I do like long duration scenarios actually..but smaller amount of units, to be honest I like my scenarios no less than 2 to 3 days.

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RE: Formations - Progress - 2/14/2013 2:28:20 AM   
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I like you Wodin usually never play the large scenarios. Case Blue, WTP, Combat command, ect, ect, I just cant wrap my head around keeping a plan together with hundreds of units on the map and lose my taste for moving all those units sooner or later.Probably why tactical is my favorite scale. One of the reasons i really like this series is that i can play the larger unit scenarios. You can issue a few orders higher up the chain and the AI does a very reasonable job, perfect...no.. I micromanage when i have to then reattach. You should give the larger ones a try sometime. HTTR is about the only game i played the big scenarios and i cant wait to pick all these up and give that 10 day monster a go. I played alot of HTTR and have been playing BFTB demo for a few days and there is some much that has been added, i am highly impressed with how far the series has come from the concepts videos , the tutorial videos and all the cool new features, Panther should be commended. In my perfect world, they sign off on the patch and the cota scenarios and bundle it all together and my income tax refund comes the next day

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RE: Formations - Progress - 2/14/2013 10:57:42 AM   
Alchenar

 

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I too prefer the larger scenarios - they're the ones that allow for creativity and variation.

In a 2 day scenario there's typically only one valid plan given the starting positions and objectives.

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RE: Formations - Progress - 2/14/2013 11:07:13 AM   
phoenix

 

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The scenarios I love in this game are the huge ones. You need to get into it by treating each individual area of battle or operations as something like a separate, individual, smaller battle, due as much attention from you as if it were all you were playing (as if each separate area were a separate smaller scenario). They take ages, of course. You need to mostly run them on slowest settings to keep up. But it's like playing several smaller scenarios all at once, but with scope - as Alch says - for tactical variation and creative planning. My favourites are From the Meuse to the Rhine, Spearhead v Reich (14 days) and - from COTA - the big Centaurs battle between Greeks and Italians (I think that one is 14 days or so too). So, playing Mass-Rhein is just like playing the two smaller scenarios RDOA and AAON, but with the possibility of tactics between the two areas. Though, in fact, RDOA and AAON are both of themselves pretty huge, and can be broken down into about 3 separate areas of attention, each.

< Message edited by phoenix -- 2/14/2013 11:08:58 AM >

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RE: Formations - Progress - 2/14/2013 1:31:25 PM   
wodin


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Mr P I thought you said the other day you like the smaller unit scale more..hmmm...looks like I'm in a minority which doesn't bode ell for me and the future of playing CO..if the next games are all massive scenarios I prob wont be buying.

Again I like long lasting scenarios but I find scenarios with loads of units end up just looking a jumbled mess and you can't really appreciate the game in action as even watching an attack go in you lose the formation fan out etc etc due to all the other units milling around.

I do play the bigger scenarios like lots of mini scenarios at the same time...but that to me shows my inability to plan whole scale timed assaults across the front. Also again I end up not getting as immersed as I would be. COTA's airborne scenarios lasting three or four days where my all time favourite ones.

I will repeat though I'm NOT keen on quick scenarios that last one or two days..they just don't last long enough. I disagree that low unit density scenarios only give the option for one plan though.

I do play the large ones though..I just don't enjoy them as much as the lower unit density ones. Maybe it's BFTB scenarios in particular. Horrible terrain and the restriction of the engine for dismounted troops and usually an Arty slugfest.

I'm also into details..being m,mainly a tactical player..I love it when scenarios go to the effort of putting in the correct commanders name and unit history, these details are much more likely to be looked at and also add to the immersion on the lower unit density scenarios. I also like to monitor in detail at times coy's and how they are doing..again much easier to keep track off with lower unity density. The high unit density they just become counters rather than units full of men and equipment. Now if we get more detailed radio feedback\sitreps and on the fly AAR's for individual units in detail and one day leader casualties and replacements or they come back after being wounded for a couple od days I'd start to find the bigger scenarios as immersive as the smaller ones.

PS: Having a poxy 19inch screen really doesn't help either...maybe if I had a lovely 24inch or bigger it would make a difference with regards to high unit count scenarios. It's this sort of problem I have with wargames and a small screen that leaves me baffled that people want wargames on tablets!!

< Message edited by wodin -- 2/14/2013 1:41:58 PM >


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RE: Formations - Progress - 2/14/2013 2:39:35 PM   
phoenix

 

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I like both, really. Big and small. Really looking forward to the 'tactical' iteration of BFTB (LOTB, is it?) Like you, Wodin, I would also love a Stalingrad type tactical iteration (city fighting), with this engnie, if it could ever work. I'm very curious to see if LOTB works with the engine.

I have most played Manhay and Hofen, in fact. Too many times to admit to. But that's only because they're quick. I do prefer getting lost in the bigger ones, it's just a more daunting prospect. Every time I start again with Maas-Rhein, for example, it's the same hour of detailed playing, laboriously giving orders as the drops come in. That can get a bit tedious, and if you run the thing properly I reckon it would take about forty hours of solid play to complete Maas-Rhein on slow setting, paying attention. Maybe more. Once XXX Corps arrive my processor generally will run it at about a quarter reality on slowest setting - ie a minute in game every fifteen seconds or so. That's a tall order.

I have a decent size screen. It's true that on my 12' laptop it's a bit cramping.

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RE: Formations - Progress - 2/14/2013 4:06:01 PM   
jimcarravallah

 

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This raises a question about game mechanics.

When a static unit routs, does it take the time to, in effect, limber the emplaced equipment and move it along with the personnel fleeing for their lives?

If that were the case, it would explain why a static unit doesn't react as quickly under rout conditions as mechanized or foot units.

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