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Am I fighting ghosts? - 5/25/2019 3:02:22 AM   
Monkie

 

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Just trying out the new campaign Soviets vs Finns and it seems that my forces are fighting ghosts. Since my heavy hitters are T-72A's and they are backed up by infantry in BTR-70's it kinda would be expected to use my infantry to seek out ambushes while the tanks stand off and use range to advantage. However my units are taking multiple hits over and over from unseen and obviously hidden forces unable to even fire back due to lack of localizing the threat.

Visibility is good if not excellent yet my T-72's in open fields take hit after hit from units that remain unseen even after firing multiple times. I am all for ambushes but how do these units remain unseen even by my dismounted infantry in close contact?

Maybe I'm not understanding some game mechanic but I just saw my attacking force destroyed without ever seeing over 80% of the enemy forces that caused it.
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RE: Am I fighting ghosts? - 5/25/2019 9:47:44 AM   
Linda_Sheffield

 

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Yep, i can confirm, quite annoying and unrealistic situation. It's okay that it hard to spot soldiers with firearm, but now we canmot reliably spot HMG (in my experience i had problems spotting M113 with M2MG, while i had inf.squad and T-72) and ATGM/RPG teams.

I think it caused by:
Poor weather congitions visibility penalty or night/dusk time.
3 sec. scan period (i think that is too long).
Low "signature" of weapon used by ambushers.

(in reply to Monkie)
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RE: Am I fighting ghosts? - 5/25/2019 11:34:25 AM   
Veitikka


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There can be many reasons, or combinations of reasons, why a unit is hard to detect. Every case should be studied separately, without generalizing too much.

If you change the LOS tool mode (shift+L) you can see in more detail which areas are easy to see and which are barely visible. More eyes (units) together can spot much more efficiently than a single unit. All smoke is not visible to the player. It may still be there blocking the LOS, even if the UI doesn't tell it.

A HMG has a small firing signature in the game, compared to something like a tank cannon. Weapon teams can be very hard to detect because of their small size.


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RE: Am I fighting ghosts? - 5/25/2019 12:12:20 PM   
Monkie

 

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Unfortunately the terrain system is almost too good in the sense that without micro-managing every single unit with the LOS tool you can't decipher every nook and cranny on the scale being played. So I tend to see situations where a platoon of 3 tanks is positioned in what looks like open fields and yet one tank is pounded over and over by an unseen enemy while the other 2 sit in ruts with no LOS. The platoon mates should attempt to move to get eyes on the threat but the AI doesn't seem to have this ability so the player is forced to micro manage which makes for an awkward scale when you have several platoons in combat across a few km's of battle area.

The scenario in question that I was playing had good visibility of 2800m in the day and yet the T-72's were hit over and over without ever seeing what killed them, not even the general yellow circles were showing up. My BTR's all unloaded and tried to clear the flanks of wooded area but they all met the same fate, being killed one by one, squad by squad without ever revealing most of the enemy units they were receiving fire from.

From a players standpoint it's frustrating because there wasn't much else I could do to localize the enemy and no artillery was available to at least suppress possible locations of enemy troops.

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RE: Am I fighting ghosts? - 5/25/2019 12:49:20 PM   
Veitikka


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I think one issue is that if you're advancing in closed terrain, for example in the forests of Finland, it's your leading unit that comes into contact with the enemy. Your unit is suppressed, reducing its spotting capability, and no other units there can spot the firing enemy unit because there's no LOS. In the other extreme, if you are advancing on an open desert map, you can have even dozens of your units doing spotting, because they all have a LOS to the enemy unit when it starts firing. In many such cases the enemy is spotted almost instantly.


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RE: Am I fighting ghosts? - 5/25/2019 9:11:41 PM   
Monkie

 

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Is there an order or tactic I can use say to have a Russian BTR platoon dismount and clear a dug in wooded area of Finnish infantry? I have limited mortars to suppress with and they seem pretty ineffective in doing much. I've been using contact orders for the dismounts but again one squad gets destroyed and the other two see nothing and give no support. I try to move them all within 100m of each other in hopes they can spot whatever is engaging us.

I feel like the Sheriff's poise in the movie Rambo, one by one my guys are taken out by an invisible green beret.

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RE: Am I fighting ghosts? - 5/26/2019 11:02:21 AM   
Linda_Sheffield

 

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Mortars in AB is higly effective, especially soviet, tanks and mortars are main combat assets.

As for your situation: keep in mind, that in general, against fortified fixed positions you have to use superior number of infantry. If you have no choise but to attack, dismount whole platoon, keep'em as close as possible and advance, use mortar to suppress OR lay smokescreen at enemy positions. If you have airsupport - just burn area with napalm :)

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RE: Am I fighting ghosts? - 5/26/2019 1:27:26 PM   
kevinkins


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With a 2D map of such detail and granularity, the use of the LOS tool is a must and does result in a feeling of over micro managing. With a 3D view, determining LOS is more natural. Given the speed at which defenders can acquire and engage even moving targets, the friendly side must find fix and destroy the enemy much faster than say in WW2 games. Perhaps players can practice getting grip on LOS by playing scenarios with the oldest equipment that will somewhat simulate a slower pace aka WW2 armoured warfare.

Kevin

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RE: Am I fighting ghosts? - 5/26/2019 5:01:16 PM   
Linda_Sheffield

 

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Yep, that is why devs added ISOmetric and HGT modes.

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RE: Am I fighting ghosts? - 5/26/2019 9:41:25 PM   
exsonic01

 

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Because of this reason, I usually play this game really slow.

Depending on the map, sometimes I purchase infantry (not mech infantry) with tanks in assault/offense game. Infantry in this game is painfully slow but better safe than sorry. Infantry detect hidden enemy vehicle or infantry way better than vehicles. I think vehicles in this game have lower chance of detection than infantry, it gets worse when they are suppressed and buttoned down. Infantry also lose detection ability when being suppressed, but vehicle suffers worse effect.

One thing I wish to check in this game is the thermal sight and detection ability relation. I think units with thermal sights should have bonus to detection ability. It is confirmed fact via many tests (and real operations), that the even poor quality 1st generation thermals provide better chance of early detection and early warning over normal eyesight. But in current AB, I feel like units with thermal & without thermal have same degree of detection. I wish my feeling is wrong.

Anyway, for meeting engagement / assault case:
a) I usually purchase a lot of dismounted recon team + one or two recon vehicles to counter AI recon vehicle.
b) Purchase artillery and spread TRP over VP or any bottleneck or possible major route.
c) Infiltrate and spread out recon teams as much as possible.
d) Try to detect enemy ATGM, tanks, and IFV on enemy defense line. Then call artillery (or airstrike) and mortar to "snipe" tanks and other vehicles or atgm teams, hiding in dug-in position. When assault, I prefer to buy artillery than airstrike or gunship, because that way I have more control for the target. But if friendly artillery have no DPICM then sometimes I bring airstrike.
e) While advancing, if I meet town or forest, dismount mech infantry from the position out of enemy LoS, and sweep the area.
f) If the map is full of forest or middle of big city, then I mix mech infantry and infantry, or just purchase infantry. This makes game really really slow, but I found no better alternatives.
g) Advance tanks or IFVs only after the route is clear, or at least after I have enough knowledge of where enemy infantry or tanks are located.

If pre-designed campaign or mission doesn't offer good enough amount of recon team, then I use infantry like recon team. If scenario doesn't introduce artillery neither mortar, then I try to use tanks or any vehicle to give direct fire support, because that is the only way to suppress enemy in this game under such condition. But I try by best for my bois to detect enemy first, because vehicles have poor detection ability in this game.




This is the one of the reason why this game really needs attack-on-command or 'forced attack', the ability for players to command unit to shoot empty tile. Suppressive fire is kinda 101 of all infantry / combined arms tactic, but prohibiting such important option from players due to balancing is totally not tactical IMO. I wish devs introduce fire against muzzle flash, at least.

Plus, in the future, how about introducing graphical representation of where enemy shot came from? In reality, while it is really hard to find the exact location of enemy, it is possible to locate general direction of where the fire came from, and it became relatively easier if it is machine gun fire, RPG, or ATGM. (Except it is sniper shot) More and more enemy fire, rough guess become more and more accurate.

Introduce 4 (or 8) arcs around the unit, direction of front, left, right, and rear (8 arc should have 4 more direction calls), not visible during normal condition. But when being shot, make those arcs flash from possible hitting direction, just like FPS games do. And allow AI to shoot a suppressive fire (short burst, or only use secondary armament) to treeline or building within effective range at that direction.

For the balance, accuracy of arc direction can be tweaked for this feature. Or, it would be possible to modify the chance to flash the arc & react when being attacked based on weapon type and distance of enemy. Or, it would be possible to activate "flash arc" feature only when the same enemy attacked more than 3 times. Introduce carefully considered RNG to them, then this "counter fire" feature will be more realistic. Those are rough idea, but if this process is nicely designed, then this might be AI's way to give suppressive fire when being attacked.

It would be possible to list such feature in SOP, so that player and AI can turn on or off the counter fire. Also, it would be possible to give bonus to units with higher morale and experience, while estimate the possible fire direction.

And introduction of resupply vehicle or resupply station would help player and AI to manage the ammo.


< Message edited by exsonic01 -- 5/26/2019 10:44:35 PM >

(in reply to Linda_Sheffield)
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RE: Am I fighting ghosts? - 5/27/2019 9:15:26 AM   
Lowlaner2012

 

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Recon is Paramount in AB,always recon routes you plan to travel on, dismounted scouts should try infiltrate to a position where they overlook any planned approach routes or objectives and set there SOP to hold fire so they don't get fired at or spotted...

Smoke and suppressive arty fire are essential when attacking, especially if your units have thermal sights...

Also don't forget the added pause on contact and other pause on options, they make the game way easier to handle and allow the player to react to new situations faster..

As I have spent more time playing I have been using the defend command more and more,I have found that it does helps eliminate some of the need for LOS micro-management and works surprisingly well...

One thing this game taught me was that if you go into a scenario without a combined arms integrated plan you are gonna have a really hard time and are probably going to lose...

I'm not saying the game is perfect and some of the above ideas would make the game even better, but next to the combat mission games this is one of my favorite war/strategy games...



< Message edited by Lowlaner2012 -- 5/27/2019 9:19:46 AM >

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RE: Am I fighting ghosts? - 5/27/2019 9:15:03 PM   
thewood1

 

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That is excellent advice. Many games don'y appreciate or use recon or scouting properly. Ambushes can be big failures for your enemy if you recon at the operational level and scout at the tactical level. Of course, a good enemy is screening at those levels also. Many larger battles are won or lost in the recon/scout battle against a screen.

Its one of the things I really like AB. For all its foils and inflexibilities in scenario building, it drives the point home that recon and scouting play a significant role by collecting information for an advance.

Instead of players trying to get some bizarre rewrite of the code and more menu items, learn to use the tools you have first.

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RE: Am I fighting ghosts? - 5/27/2019 9:47:18 PM   
Monkie

 

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In the campaign using the Soviets vs Finns you really have limited resources and I'm finding that the recon troops really are needed to root out all the entrenched Finns. Unfortunately that makes for some slow progress and I tend to use the T-72's in wooded close range which is against all the rules but I have little else to work with.

I'm guessing the recon troops have a better ability to actually spot and point out enemy positions to friendly forces?

My last two battles in the campaign have been night combat with vis as low as 240 meters, not sure I'd even try to mount any offensive in that weather but I guess I have little choice, orders is orders.

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RE: Am I fighting ghosts? - 5/27/2019 9:59:03 PM   
nikolas93TS


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I use Scout command a lot, particularly with infantry or recon foot units, and it is really beneficial as chance of disclosing enemy units is higher. Recently added "proximity spotting" feature was introduced particularly for reason to help out with close terrain and low visibility combat, as well with dug-in units, and I think it really improved the game.

Also, maybe some of the players are not aware that if you dismount your mech units and issue them any movement command, infantry will move in front of the vehicles, which really help out with reducing AFVs casualties.

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RE: Am I fighting ghosts? - 5/27/2019 10:35:11 PM   
nikolas93TS


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It would be great if somebody could experiment a bit with gradually increasing muzzle signatures in database.

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RE: Am I fighting ghosts? - 5/27/2019 11:54:32 PM   
22sec

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: nikolas93TS

It would be great if somebody could experiment a bit with gradually increasing muzzle signatures in database.


I’ve done this and I am a big proponent. I’ve always used the square root of the gun’s caliber as the muzzle signature and it increases units’ being spotted.

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RE: Am I fighting ghosts? - 5/28/2019 1:31:52 PM   
wodin


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Monkie

Unfortunately the terrain system is almost too good in the sense that without micro-managing every single unit with the LOS tool you can't decipher every nook and cranny on the scale being played. So I tend to see situations where a platoon of 3 tanks is positioned in what looks like open fields and yet one tank is pounded over and over by an unseen enemy while the other 2 sit in ruts with no LOS. The platoon mates should attempt to move to get eyes on the threat but the AI doesn't seem to have this ability so the player is forced to micro manage which makes for an awkward scale when you have several platoons in combat across a few km's of battle a



I agree. A game like this needs great tacai that helps the player out reducing the need for micro managing units to do something that's commonsense\obvious. For instance in Graviteam Tactics a squad will automatically use bounding covering fire.Something I loved to watch when I first noticed it. It was that moment I knew Graviteam was something special.

< Message edited by wodin -- 5/28/2019 1:35:04 PM >


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