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Just Played the Tutorial - 11/24/2014 11:25:38 PM   
HowieWowie

 

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Just played through the tutorial. Gripping! This is a great game engine!

A couple of questions. In the tutorial he Red forces came down a road lined by trees on both sides and got held up at a road block. Is there a stacking penalty included in the combat?

I'm not familiar with the capabilities of the Blue or Red units ie effective spotting and combat ranges, etc. I would think that some knowledge is needed in order to plan and execute effectively. How have the more experienced players developed this knowledge? I don't see anything in manual. I don't want to read technical docs but it's be nice to have some sort of summary.

Great game!!
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RE: Just Played the Tutorial - 11/24/2014 11:50:27 PM   
CapnDarwin


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HW, yes there are penalties to movement and other effects on combat based on unit size. There are also stacking limits in hex too.

Best way to get a feel for the units and capabilities in game if using the Sub-Unit Inspector (F6) to look over the units in the scenario. I would also use the LOS tool and Firing range tools to see how well units can spot and how far they can shoot. After a while you will get the hand of what systems can do what.

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Work on Southern Storm continues! Very busy times right now.

Cap'n Darwin aka Jim Snyder
On Target Simulations LLC

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RE: Just Played the Tutorial - 11/25/2014 6:08:05 AM   
IronMikeGolf

 

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You really have to look at every unit in the SUI. It's not a squad is a squad is a squad. Even tanks and APCs have different variants of a particular model and you will see a variety. And that all within the same nation's Army.

Oh, and Recce units can see and additional hex compare to regular units with the same sensors. The LOS tool does not reflect that. Shift-click is your friend.

Oh, and air defense ranges are not the same as ground attack ranges. A tank might have a range of 6000m against ground targets, but 1500m against helos.

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RE: Just Played the Tutorial - 11/25/2014 11:51:36 AM   
Alchenar

 

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It's one of my big gripes (with an otherwise excellent game). The subunit inspector is wildly unhelpful: yes I can see a list of equipment and upgrades my Abrams tanks have - but there's no indication as to what any of that means in terms of the game.

The information is ultimately worthless and you just have to play it by ear. Fortunately experience comes quickly and you can follow a couple of basic rules - NATO armies fight better at range and are vulnerable to losses, PACT is all about getting massed formations right in the enemy's face and winning on attrition.

e: for example, the thing I'm trying to get a handle on now (I find it helps to play a few games not focused on winning but on trying to learn a particular mechanic) is how much stacking is appropriate. For PACT it seems like stacking is almost always a terrible idea if you can avoid it. For NATO... it is much less clear when you might want to mass firepower in a hex vs the extra risk of having a bombardment take out a significant proportion of your force.

< Message edited by Alchenar -- 11/25/2014 1:03:00 PM >

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RE: Just Played the Tutorial - 11/25/2014 3:07:21 PM   
Mad Russian


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There are stacking limits. I normally don't worry about those when I play. I have a basic rule for myself with stacking and that is, Don't.

If there are lots of targets in the location they can bring lots of death and destruction to them all at once. If they are scattered out then they at least have to target multiple locations to do the same death and destruction.

Of course every rule is made to be broken at times and playing the game will show you when those times are for you personally.

What kinds of information do you think would be more helpful in the Sub-unit Inspector?

Good Hunting.

MR

_____________________________

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Founder of HSG scenario design group for Combat Mission.
Panzer Command Ostfront Development Team.
Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.

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RE: Just Played the Tutorial - 11/25/2014 4:12:40 PM   
HowieWowie

 

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Thanks for the comments. My suggestion would be some sort of unit library, probably spreadsheet format. I think it should include both Blue and Red forces. Summarizing the info in the Sub Unit Inspector such as effective combat ranges, sensor ranges, etc. The sub unit inspector info is useful but I don't see a way to obtain some intel on the Opfor. Being a new player maybe I'm missing something. I think these sort of in game details would also add to the immersion for new players. My 2 cents

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RE: Just Played the Tutorial - 11/25/2014 4:37:38 PM   
IronMikeGolf

 

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You could really get away with a high-density frontage in 2.04 and 2.05. Not so in this version. Artillery is properly lethal.

You want some rules for your thumbs? Really, really, really try to have no more than 2 platoon sized elements in the same hex when playing NATO. Read the terrain to figure out where the Soviets are going to come. They want to move as fast as possible, so they won't go through woods or avoid bridges, unless they hit resistance. So, pick an area you want to kill him in, then put plts where they can shoot into that area. The AI doesn't shoot arty preps, so your stacks won't get hit by arty until they are spotted. That means you want to kill his recon before they find your stack. Under the right conditions, you can do direct fire and not be spottted from that (night, rain, long range)

Sometimes terrain will force you to stack in order to achieve enough combat power at the place you need it. If so, think about putting smoke on friendlies there. Smoke will do a good job of degrading enemy arty. So, if you need to stack a bunch of units, do it with things that use thermal sights or radars.

As to the abbreviations in the SUI, the definition and effects of those are in the manual. Likely too wordy to fit in a tool tip. Gotta do some homework.

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RE: Just Played the Tutorial - 11/25/2014 4:55:56 PM   
CapnDarwin


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Alchenar and HW, what additional information would make the Sub-unit Inspector a better information tool for you and no doubt many others? We do loose sight as devs who are in this 24/7 that others don't know the difference between a T-80B and a T-80U. We are looking at wanting to have a better info panel in 2.1 so any thoughts you have that would make the information better and useful, let us know.

_____________________________

Work on Southern Storm continues! Very busy times right now.

Cap'n Darwin aka Jim Snyder
On Target Simulations LLC

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RE: Just Played the Tutorial - 11/25/2014 5:31:34 PM   
HowieWowie

 

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Leave it with me Capn. I plan on getting some more play in shortly and will use that to get my thoughts together and get back to you.

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RE: Just Played the Tutorial - 11/25/2014 5:45:55 PM   
IronMikeGolf

 

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Maybe instead of just a list of what sensors are on a platform, include performance for the sensors (e.g. Night Vis/Light Ampl - 3000m). A line for each sensor with sensor type and the max range.

Maybe list the weapons twice: once for ground targets and again for air targets instead of combining info into one line

For special ammo, maybe not use the codes in the data spreadsheet, but use a fuller abbreviation: Mine, Smoke, Illum, Top Atk, etc

Now there's an argument for only including info that that bears on player decision making and omitting info that does not (like armored side skirts). But absent any other "encyclopedia" tool, I think all that sort of info should go into the SUI. I don't want to have to look stuff up in the spreadsheet.

I know, I know, it's a trade off. Won't make everyone happy.



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RE: Just Played the Tutorial - 11/25/2014 7:54:55 PM   
CapnDarwin


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Along these lines, is having more text and less abbreviation better? Would millimeters of pen and armor be better than the game values? It could be possible to make the Sub-unit Inspector window larger and add more verbose text.

_____________________________

Work on Southern Storm continues! Very busy times right now.

Cap'n Darwin aka Jim Snyder
On Target Simulations LLC

(in reply to IronMikeGolf)
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RE: Just Played the Tutorial - 11/26/2014 1:16:33 AM   
ultradave


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My personal preference would be for real world values rather than game values. But that's a survey of one :-) And I don't have a problem with the way it is. If you gave me a choice I'd go with real world numbers.

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RE: Just Played the Tutorial - 11/26/2014 1:51:27 PM   
Alchenar

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Capn Darwin

Along these lines, is having more text and less abbreviation better? Would millimeters of pen and armor be better than the game values? It could be possible to make the Sub-unit Inspector window larger and add more verbose text.


On balance - yes. Filling a screen with text is a bad thing. What's a worse thing is making me hit F1 and taking me out of the game completely because I now need to skim a PDF to find out what a 'Stadia Coincidence (Optical)' sensor is.

Speaking of which, it turns out that a 'Stadia Coincidence (Optical)' sensor is a 'advanced sight'. That's useless information to me. I don't care what the equipment is called or what precisely it does, I want to know in game terms what it means for me and how I should use it. That doesn't mean having to give me the full set of statistics for how it's going to be rolling dice 'under the covers', but I do want some kind of meaningful comparative so I can understand what it's good for.

So rather than tell me a tank has 'x, y, and z' sensors, just tell me it has night and thermal vision, and has exceptionally good targeting at long range.


Lets look at competing product Wargame:Red Dragon for comparison:



Obviously a different game, RTS rather than simulation, different priorities on what's 'important', but there are some key things to take away. Firstly, the primary and secondary weapon systems get a massive amount of space because they are no.1 on the list of things you need to know about a unit to understand what they are and what they can engage. There's a hard stat on range, but notice it's next to a bar indicating to me that the 2A46M gun on this tank has a maximum effective range that's equivalent to any contemporary it might face in the game. Accuracy and AP power have abstracted numbers, but it's obvious they're high in terms of the game. The Stabilizer and rate of fire are average to poor. The tank has very good frontal armour but very poor side and back armour.

I have no idea what any of the equipment on this tank is called, but still from this picture I can see that it's a high-value unit that's good for providing fire-support for frontal assaults but needs flank protection and might suffer in shooting matches with NATO tanks that have a higher rate of fire.

So to sum up my view in a single sentence: the priority should be prioritization of meaningful comparative information focused on the effectiveness rather than identification of equipment.

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RE: Just Played the Tutorial - 11/26/2014 2:55:40 PM   
Alchenar

 

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Additional example: probably the most crucial information for the player in the tutorial mission is that your units can see through smoke and the enemy can't. But nowhere in the game is it intuitively obvious that this is the case; without the explicit information given in the manual a player would have to look up the unit in the subunit inspector, go look up what the sensor equipment does, and then make the intuitive leap from knowing that a unit has thermal imaging to understanding that it can detect things through smoke.

That last bit is really crucial because it highlights the present disconnect between how the information is currently presented and what the player need to know for effective decision making. Not only would it eliminate several stages just to note on the subunit inspector 'special ability: can see through smoke', it immediately points the player towards potential strategies for using it.

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RE: Just Played the Tutorial - 11/26/2014 3:21:08 PM   
CapnDarwin


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Very good points raised. I am working up a design document for the next version of the game engine that take many of these points and others. The most important thing I am hearing is more real world info and more in game use/impact of the systems.

_____________________________

Work on Southern Storm continues! Very busy times right now.

Cap'n Darwin aka Jim Snyder
On Target Simulations LLC

(in reply to Alchenar)
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RE: Just Played the Tutorial - 11/26/2014 10:52:13 PM   
istari6

 

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+1 to having real-world armor and penetration values.

I'd also be curious on the effects for Reactive Armor X and Advanced Composite Y. Don't necessarily need precise quantification of their in-game effect, but does Reactive Armor 2 create a 10-30% boost versus AP and 50-70% vs HEAT?

Also, is there any distinction made in the engine between road speed and cross-country mobility? I remember hearing somewhere that while the M-1 Abrams is only 15-18mph faster on roads versus the older M-60, it was over twice as fast as the M-60 when moving cross-country. If these factors are modeled in game, would be nice to see in the Subunit Inspector, so we can really understand the tactical mobility of different tanks and other AFVs.

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RE: Just Played the Tutorial - 11/26/2014 11:10:20 PM   
Mad Russian


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quote:

ORIGINAL: istari6

I'd also be curious on the effects for Reactive Armor X and Advanced Composite Y. Don't necessarily need precise quantification of their in-game effect, but does Reactive Armor 2 create a 10-30% boost versus AP and 50-70% vs HEAT?



That gets a whole lot tougher.

Reactive Armor 2 creates a 10-30% boost versus AP against which AP?

and 50-70% vs HEAT against whose HEAT round?

If this were simply one nation vs another that would be relatively simple. The series is not just one nation vs another and in Southern Storm you will have the capacity for multiple nations per side.

Good Hunting.

MR



_____________________________

The most expensive thing in the world is free time.

Founder of HSG scenario design group for Combat Mission.
Panzer Command Ostfront Development Team.
Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.

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RE: Just Played the Tutorial - 11/26/2014 11:34:10 PM   
CapnDarwin


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Looking at some SUI layout changes today between fires (what an afternoon). What I see here is also a need to blend what something is with at least a base impact in game. Use base percentages and such. The real in game value will vary, a lot.

For example:
Thermal Sight - Can see targets through smoke and at night to weapon range.
Basic Reactive Armor (ERA) - Reduced HEAT penetration by 15%.

Will that help in understanding platform capabilities?

_____________________________

Work on Southern Storm continues! Very busy times right now.

Cap'n Darwin aka Jim Snyder
On Target Simulations LLC

(in reply to Mad Russian)
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RE: Just Played the Tutorial - 11/27/2014 12:24:55 AM   
Alchenar

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Capn Darwin

Looking at some SUI layout changes today between fires (what an afternoon). What I see here is also a need to blend what something is with at least a base impact in game. Use base percentages and such. The real in game value will vary, a lot.

For example:
Thermal Sight - Can see targets through smoke and at night to weapon range.
Basic Reactive Armor (ERA) - Reduced HEAT penetration by 15%.

Will that help in understanding platform capabilities?



Yeah that's exactly the kind of thing I mean. The only thing I want to reiterate is the point about the weapon systems needing a big clear space for themselves (a minimal-effort improvement would be just to throw in a single-line space between the Armaments, Sensors and Special Abilities sections), also it would be much easier to read the weapon stats if they had defined indentations for each data field rather than being a single strand of text. That probably means transferring that info into a table of some sort.

PS. Oh, and range values should ideally always have a hex-equivalent number attached in parenthesis. The game might be rolling dice on the basis of exact or approximated ranges and taking other factors into account, but as a player I'm looking at hexes and there's no reason for me to be having to constantly doing the conversion from meters to hexes in my head (and vice versa) when 99 times out of a hundred all I need to know is 'the gun is good out to 7-8 hexes'.

Preemptive defense: yes I am smart and no multiplying/dividing by 500 is not a terrible strain. But I also happen to be sitting in front of a very powerful calculator and data storage device which could be doing that for me.

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RE: Just Played the Tutorial - 11/27/2014 2:59:14 AM   
istari6

 

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MR,

See, that's one of the great things about the game. Love that these kinds of complexities are modeled in the engine :)

If it's impossible to give a narrow range like "10-30% vs AP" across the range of AP ammunition types, I can imagine two possible solutions:

1) Give the full range across all AP ammo in the game - e.g. Reactive Armor 2 gives +5-95% before modifiers". That still gives me something to work with. Right now, the various advanced armors are complete mysteries to me. While the latest Soviet armor in 1989 would have posed significant unknowns, I imagine that NATO armor officers had at least some intelligence estimates on their impact.

2) Modify the SUI or have a separate screen where dynamic comparisons can be drawn between two pieces of equipment. I'd be fascinated to gain a better understanding of how a Leopard 1A5 firing older 105mm ammunition would compare against a T-80U with both Advanced Composite and Reactive Armor (not well, I know :>).

Chris

(in reply to Mad Russian)
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RE: Just Played the Tutorial - 11/27/2014 3:34:44 AM   
CapnDarwin


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Chris,

We should in the next game be able to add much more info into the SUI and get things like Advanced Reactive Armor - Reduces HEAT Pen by 40% and AP Pen by 15% type info for basic number crunching and also add the more verbose info for sensors and systems to state primary game effect/impact. As for a comparison dialog, we have talked about it in-house going back a while and it sits on the nice to have for 2.1 if we get time to do it. If not it would follow in an update or DLC type package. Always more cool ideas and features than time to get them done.

_____________________________

Work on Southern Storm continues! Very busy times right now.

Cap'n Darwin aka Jim Snyder
On Target Simulations LLC

(in reply to istari6)
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RE: Just Played the Tutorial - 11/27/2014 8:05:16 PM   
Werewolf13

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: ultradave

My personal preference would be for real world values rather than game values. But that's a survey of one :-) And I don't have a problem with the way it is. If you gave me a choice I'd go with real world numbers.


+1 - So now it's a survey of two.

Real world values are easily understood and easy to relate to; for me at least.

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RE: Just Played the Tutorial - 11/28/2014 12:15:08 PM   
henri51


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Capn Darwin

Alchenar and HW, what additional information would make the Sub-unit Inspector a better information tool for you and no doubt many others? We do loose sight as devs who are in this 24/7 that others don't know the difference between a T-80B and a T-80U.

There is more than one kind of T-80? ;-)

(in reply to CapnDarwin)
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RE: Just Played the Tutorial - 11/28/2014 12:39:30 PM   
wodin


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A brief description of what kind role a sub unit has would be cool. At the moment unless you have very good knowledge of modern equipment you can't really tell how powerful a unit has as unlike other wargames we don't have a strength combat value nor told told an attack and defense strength. So a description of the role and overall quality of the sub unit would be cool.

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RE: Just Played the Tutorial - 11/28/2014 2:37:10 PM   
CapnDarwin


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A description of what role the until normally plays is possible. Quality is basically the VP rating given now.

_____________________________

Work on Southern Storm continues! Very busy times right now.

Cap'n Darwin aka Jim Snyder
On Target Simulations LLC

(in reply to wodin)
Post #: 25
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