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RE: Tips thread - 2/19/2004 3:14:13 AM   
Tzar007


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From MarkShot:


I think for today's topic I'll talk a little bit about the commands and parameters which I commonly use.

I should state up front that I tend to make what I consider rather limited use of the full command/parameter functionality available in HTTR. In other words, I am perhaps using only 20-40% of what is available. Why?

(1) You get comfortable with certain stuff and it gets harder and harder to break old habits. (I am no longer a kid and it shows in my approach to things.)

(2) I play exclusively single player. I think if I played multi-player against such talents as Arjuna, Golf33, or Yakstock, I would be much more inclined to learn every nuance of every feature that would help me in my struggles. (When I have flown air combat online one versus one, you quickly realize that human competition makes you push the edge of the envelope. Although the AI may challenge you, you fall into comfortable patterns and don't really feel a need to constantly innovate.)

(3) I have realized to a large extent most scenarios can be played with mainly [A]ttack and [D]efend. Why? Well, as it turns out, a good plan properly executed without a lot of finesse is worth a lot more than a bad plan with poor execution and plenty of finesse.

Now, I am hoping the strategy guide which comes out will go into the fine points of all the commands and the parameters. [Golf33, hint, hint! ]

One command which I am very excited about, but have failed to use is the [E] - delay command. I know that it has been largely reworked for HTTR. In fact, I almost used it the other day. I had to choose between holding the enemy in place at a choke point or making a protracted series of delays along a highway from one village to the next. I decided to stay with the choke point.

I have never once used the [F]ire command. I understand what it means to place suppressing fire or performing recon by fire in tactical games such as Combat Mission, but I really don't know what to do with it in HTTR. [Golf33, hint, hint! ]

Here goes:

(1) I tend to use [D]efend to get places much more often than [M]ove. The end result is fairly similar as your units go into a defensive mode when they arrive where they are going. In fact, the end result of almost any action when completed, pretty much has your units going into defensive mode. I tend to think [D]efend is a little more flexible than [M]ove, since the formation parameters you choose apply to the final waypoint as opposed to the trip.

(2) In terms of traveling, you can use MOVE=NORMAL|FASTEST to introduce some degree of timing into actions of forces, but not much. I try to avoid FASTEST unless I feel that quick action is necessary. It tires your troops out. This is especially true when your troops are on foot. And it is even more true when moving at night. {Another thing I have learned ... just because your troops are on foot doesn't mean that you can neglect using roads. Movements through woods are much more tiring than movements down roads.}

(3) For [A]ttack, I tend to go with default parameters for AGGRO, ROF, and LOSSES when I play a scenario which is somewhat longer and I am planning a protracted struggle. Thus, I am expecting that the ordered attack may make up to four attempts (pushing forward and falling back) before succeeding. Overall this tends to limit casualties and preserve your forces. (Remember that many scenarios award some degree of victory points to one or both sides for casualties.)

I tend to go with those parameters pushed up to or near max values during shorter scenarios or when time is critical. Most importantly AGGRO=MAX is basically telling your subordinates that they should throw every available unit into the attack as opposed to holding back 30-%50% as a reserve.

I tend to reduce frontage and depth from the default size if I am attempting to concentrate my strength to breakthrough the enemy positions. I may as reduce frontage and depth to keep and infantry force attacking in a woods or an armored force attacking in the clear.

(4) For [D]efend, I will use this command for conducting recon missions. For those, you want the fastest/quickest travel on roads usually. You will set AGGRO, ROF, and LOSSES to MIN, RAPID, and MIN respectively. You want to avoid shoot outs, but put out a lot of fire if you get stopped so that you can break contact.

I'll go with the default defend parameters if I want my units to defend, but not to be anhilated if the enemy makes a strong attack. I'll push those parameters up if I feel that they need to defend or die in place.

Adjusting the size of [D]efend footprint (frontage and depth) is a very handy feature. If you are guarding an objective, then, of course, you want to adjust it to fit the size of the objective. Otherwise you might find that for a large perimeter objective, your force allows the enemy to take up residence. Of course, you need to make sure that you have a big enough force; like don't try to defend a 2km radius objective with a battalion. Besides adjusting the foot print, you make want to increase AGGRO for larger perimeter objectives. This cause your AI subordinates to actively mount counter attacks to eject the enemy.

One other thought about defending large objectives like cities such as Arnhem or Nijmegen ... sometimes it makes more sense to divide up your forces and place separate [D]efend task markers. You can then adapt your defense to be more flexible and also take advantage of specific terrain features while still achieving the necessary footprint. Later on, I will present some examples of defensive configurations.

The facing option for [D]efend is very useful when you have an idea of how the enemy will be approaching.

I tend to let the [D]efend formation default or use the line formation. The line formation with varying degrees of frontage is very useful for creating a layered defense. It is also very useful in taking advantage of terrain features. For example, you want to defend a wooded area and the next wooded area is 2Km away with a road leading from it to you across clear terrain. You may want to set a line formation right at the tree line. This will provide your dug-in units good cover while catching the enemy with no cover and moving.

---

I realize this post left a lot to be desired. The game has a very rich interface. Hopefully, when the game hits the stores and the strategy guide is completed, we will see more impressive discussions of the optimum use of the interface.

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 61
RE: Tips thread - 2/19/2004 3:15:31 AM   
Tzar007


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From MarkShot:


Good morning, All.

We are comming up on another lunch hour in North America. Today, I would like to discuss some defense related topics.

We'll begin with the concept of creating a layered defense and what advantages it may confer upon your efforts.

Below, we have the lovely City of Arnhem (in fact, I believe one of my fellow beta testers lives in the local vicinity). We'll make the assumption that we primarily need to defend on the North Bank of the Neder Rijn River. So, we'll simply assume that a very basic defensive position was set up in the industrial area just South of the the Road Bridge, and hence forth ignore it.


MarkShot has attached this image:


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Post #: 62
RE: Tips thread - 2/19/2004 3:29:32 AM   
Tzar007


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From MarkShot:


We'll zoom in a little more and use this image as our white board for discussion.

MarkShot has attached this image:


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Post #: 63
RE: Tips thread - 2/19/2004 3:31:14 AM   
Tzar007


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From MarkShot:


I am not going to really discuss the size or the organization of the defensive force. We'll just simply assume that you have enough to get the job done right.

Now, of course, you could simply just place a [D]efend task at the center of Arnhem while setting the formation to "all around" dimension to 1.5Km X 1.5Km and leave it to the AI.

That's easy to do, but let's look at a layered defense.

{Don't worry too much about my drawing or the actual dimensions. My artistic talents leave something to be desired. But I didn't want to do this on a blank page. I prefered to use an actual map, but it's the concept that is important. However, I have a implemented this approach for Arnhem successfully a couple of occassions.}

Here each line represents a force with line formation orders with a corresponding frontage and narrow depth facing outward from Arnhem.

The yellow represents the outer layer or screen.

The green represents the inner layer or main line of resistance.

The red circle represents my core defense/reserve force with an unspecified formation.

The purple triangle represents my total complement of mortars stripped away moved to the very center.

Not seen is an arty fire base located at some other secure/out of the way location which can service fire missions in and around Arnhem.


MarkShot has attached this image:


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Post #: 64
RE: Tips thread - 2/19/2004 3:32:12 AM   
Tzar007


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From MarkShot:


Now, let's take a look at each element of this defense and how it works as a whole. The discussion will proceed from the outside to the inside.

* Arty Fire Base *

There is our arty fire base (not seen). If we have just done such a wonderful job of defending Arnhem, then why is it not located in the center of Arnhem. Answer: Because any serious enemy attack will put the attacking elements inside the minimum range of our heavy guns, and they will become useless.

The role of the fire base is to provide supporting fire which attrits, disrupts, and break the enemy's attack. Also, our arty will make it more difficult for the enemy to gather intel about our defense if they only probe it as opposed to come in strength. Our arty we'll easily turn back weak probes.

* Outer Layer/Screen *

When I have set this up, the lines of the Outer Layer contain the same force strength as the lines of the Inner Layer. However, due to the fact that the Outer Layer has a much lower force density per unit area, it has a lot less stopping power.

The Outer Layer will make first contact with the enemy. It will be our first indication of an enemy attack in progress. The mission of the Outer Layer is not to turn back a full scale enemy attack.

The Outer Layer buys us time. Time to issue new orders to defenders to located deeper in the defense if need be. Time for the defenders deeper the defense to continue the process of improving their positions (deployed -> dug-in -> entrenched). Time for our artillery to wear down and take a toll on the enemy. (Remember you cannot target the enemy if you are not in contact with him.)

The Outer Layer disrupts the enemy's attack. So, he may well break through, but the force that does break through will lack cohesion. Some of his advancing units will be stopped or turned back. Other advancing units will make it through on their own and find their flanks exposed.

The Outer Layer will force him to FUP further away from the objective and by so doing reduce the cohesion of his attack; cause greater fatigue among his troops; and result in lengthy, time consuming, and ground loosing fall backs to reorganize the attack.

The Outer Layer also can serve as a weak flank defense if other more central defending elements need to be canabilized to plug up holes else where.

The Outer Layer holds the enemy off when you want to redistribute forces behind their position. Remember it is very hard to give a force new orders when it is already in contact with the enemy.

* Inner Layer/Main Line of Resistance *

The Inner Layer's mission is to stop the enemy cold. They represent force concentration. Ideally, by the time the enemy reaches them his attack should have begun to falter and lack the initial momentum is started with.

The Inner Layer from not engaged flanks can also be treated as secondary reserve if the situation becomes that desparate.

* Core Defense/Reserve Force *

This force can utilized in one of two ways.

First, enemy efforts to seize Arnhem may span quite a number of days. As such, if they force is undisturbed for a period of days due to its location, it may have adequate time to entrench. A small entrenched force in an urban setting can be very hard to dislodge by even a much stronger attacker.

Second, this force can be used as a reserve. The Outer Defense will buy you time and you will see that the enemy is simply going to blow right through them. It looks like the Inner Defense will be unable to hold. You can have your reserves bolster the Inner Defenses line if done early enough or you can have them form a new line behind the Inner Defense Line before it crumbles. As stated before, you can also pull Inner Line defense forces which are unengaged flanks into the active fight.

* Mortars *

Hopefully, these units are never going to see the enemy face to face. Their mission is keep laying down indirect fire on the enemy as quick as the line units need it.

---

How does this compare to one large force under the AI?

(1) Clearly the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

(2) Having created separate forces, we have a much greater degree of flexibility in dealing with enemy attacks. Remember once you turn over the entire defense to one large force, it will be too late to divide up that force and issue new orders. The last thing you want to do is disrupt a command/force which is actively engaged with the enemy.

(3) The AI may see/suspect a large attack building from the West and neglect another attack from the East. This defense construction allows flexibility without totally opening up the back door to the enemy. If done right, you still have time and options to respond to a secondary attack from another direction.

---

Well, I think I will have to leave further discussion of defense until tomorrow. I have timed out for today.

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 65
RE: Tips thread - 2/19/2004 3:33:06 AM   
Tzar007


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From MarkShot:


For today, I would like raise a few defensive odds and ends.

* Support/Heavy Weapons Position(1) *

When setting up a defense I often like to hand place these units (machine Gun companies and, particularly, anti-tank gun platoons). Good locations for these units will often be at the boundary of a BUA (built up area) or wooded tree line with some elevation. You want them to have decent cover while at the same time having a long and clear field of fire. These units have weapons with considerable reach and punch. So, they are ideal for halting or disrupting enemy movement across large spaces. I suppose the same could also be said for light flak, but I tend to just leave these to the AI.

* HTTR versus RDOA *

Now, if you played RDOA, you may have come not to bother placing ATG units as they didn't seem to accomplish very much. And the truth is, in RDOA, they don't.

I came to RDOA with a background of playing Combat Mission (CMBO). I was always very impressed how a handful of ATGs placed on the rear flanks of a map with good fire lanes could totally shut down enemy armor movement and effectiveness. However, in RDOA, you will note that these units tend to suppress very quickly, followed by bugging out.

This is no longer the case in HTTR. In RDOA, ATG units were grouped in the same class as arty and thus not considered as line units. So, programmatically and in game terms, they could not stand up to direct fire. In HTTR, they have now been altered to behave as line units. They are much more robust.

One other change that effect the behavior of ATG units and all other units is the "retreat recovery in place" behavior. In RDOA units would often retreat and leave their dug-in positions or their positions in the woods to go perform "retreat recovery" in an open field. In HTTR, units in prepared positions or good terrain will tend to "retreat recovery in place". They still loose some of their effectiveness, but they continue to remain in the good cover which they have.

* Support/Heavy Weapons Position(2) *

ATG units can still be dislodged by direct fire/close combat. So, sometimes you may find it advantageous when trying disrupt enemy movements to set them up in flanking positions on a road as opposed to directly on the road at an entrance into a town. This makes it less likely that the enemy will continue advancing upon them and overrun their position.

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 66
RE: Tips thread - 2/19/2004 3:34:28 AM   
Tzar007


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From MarkShot:


* Tree/BUA Lines versus Interior Defenses *

In the screenshot below I present two defensive positions. Assume that the enemy will approach from the North. Assume that I have an infantry battalion at my disposal.

To the North we have a line defense in the tree line, looking over open fields.

To the South we have an interior defense within the wooded area.

Which is better?

I believe the answer depends on what type of enemy action are expecting.

I think if you are expecting an enemy assault and you will have time to dig-in, then you are better off at the tree line. The tree line will give you good cover, good open field of fire, and deny the enemy cover. You would anticipate an enemy assault if you are closely defending a major objective.

If on the other hand, you main goal is to disrupt enemy force movements to another area of the map, then I think you are better off with the interior defense. Being at the tree line looking across an open area will allow the enemy force a chance to bring a larger portion of their direct fire power on your positions than if you meet them in the interior of the woods. If you are not expecting an assault, then the enemy will most likely be moving in column formation. Thus, when you encounter them in the interior of the woods, due to limited LOS and their formation you should have a local fire power advantage. And this advantage can repeat itself a few times as one unit retreats back and the next moves up the road.

Be advised that the AI can choose to assault a position of enemy strength if it deems it to be interfering with its strategic plan. However, it will still take it time to come to that decision, and then execute the orders.

Also, be advised that the objectives for two sides in a conflict may not be symmetrical. So, you might be sitting on top of an enemy objective and not even know it.

Additionally, be advised that the scenario designer can place pointless (as in no scoring awarded) objectives as hints to the AI. You might be sitting on top of one of those.

---

Keep mind that entrenched units can successfully hold off a much stronger force. However, it does take days of calm to get entrenched.

A small force with substantial arty on call can stop a much larger force.


MarkShot has attached this image:


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Post #: 67
RE: Tips thread - 2/19/2004 3:35:17 AM   
Tzar007


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From MarkShot:


* LOS Tool *

Use the LOS tool to help you check visibility of various locations. This will assist in placing heavy weapons with good fields of fire, fire bases such that they are hidden, FUPs so that they hidden from observation, etc...

* Interdict Roads *

Whether the enemy is armor, motorized, or on foot, the first choice for movement is via highways, roads, and tracks. (Of course, attacks will take place over any terrain.) Thus, when you are trying to delay an enemy force from reinforcing an engagement area, then interdict roads. Even better, cross roads. Ultimately, the enemy will either assault or more likely bypass the position. But often your goal is not to stop the enemy cold, but to buy time. Examples: allow your troops time further down the line to get dug-in on their defense or allow you to maintain the force balance someplace where you are actively engaged to take an objective.

* Impassable Terrain *

In HTTR, the only terrain which is impassable is water. If you have played other games, you may assume that woods are impassable to AFVs; they are not. Thus, there are no absolute road blocks (other than bridges) which totally halt the enemy from advancing. Of course, you can totally block the enemy via force of arms with line formations, direct fire, and arty. But one company sitting on a road in the woods with arty support will not hold the enemy off forever even if they are not dislodged.

In any case, you still want to interdict movements along highways, roads, and tracks. Movement rates and fatigue levels are much lower along these than having to travel through woods or polder (soft moist ground).

* Hasty Defenses *

I have stated previously that a single unit ordered to move some place will move their faster than two or more units with the same order. The single unit just moves. The group of units move as a force and perform overwatch and security procedures.

There are times (besides recon) when the speed of single units can come in handy. Suppose you have a handful of units and want to set up a very hasty defense about 5Km away. Ordering the units individually to take up positions can get them in place and deployed/digging in faster than ordering the group.

I had used this in one battle as the German commander who was ordered to deny a bridge. The Allies were moving up from the South with a large force. I had a very small force a few kilometers to the South of the bridge. I reasoned that they could make their best defense of the bridge from the North Bank and take advantage of a natural choke point. I gave my units individual orders to take up positions on the North Bank to hopefully extract them as quick as possible before they became engaged with the leading edge of the Allied advance.

---

Okay, that wraps it up for today.

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 68
RE: Tips thread - 2/19/2004 3:36:17 AM   
Tzar007


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From MarkShot:


I just realized something looking at my scribbled sheet of topics from the other day, I have covered everything on the sheet.

---

Mr. Frag asked for a discussion of armor usage. I don't really have too much to say on that.

(1) Use armor to attack over open terrain where possible.

(2) Use armor to attack in day light where possible to achieve maximum benefit from its ranged fire power.

(3) Armor despite its protection from small arms fire is still vulnerable to mortar/arty bombardments. {something that I learned from playing HTTR and watching the History Channel}

(4) Take advantage of armor's ability (and mechanized/motorized forces) to reposition itself rapidly to strike where the enemy is unprepared.

(5) Armor modeling on the attack in HTTR unlike RDOA will stand off at the effective range of their main cannons and engage the enemy instead of simply attempting to close assault them and overrun their positions.

(6) In HTTR unlike RDOA, armor and mechanized attacks will proceed rapidly at first and then more slowly as they engage the enemy.

(7) In HTTR unlike RDOA, I have seen cases of moving FUPs for armor where a well organized force will FUP on the move and then begin the assault.

(8) I believe for HTTR combined arms attacks were changed such that when armor and infantry are available under a single command/HQ (known as basic attack) that the infantry will advance in front of the armor.

---

The game is very rich and I have only scratched the surface here. For those of you with better backgrounds in ground combat and war games (I had none myself), I am sure that you will find many innovative and sophisticated tactics. And when you think that there is nothing more to learn, then go play online and call Yakstock out to fight.

---

So, for the time being, this wraps it up. However, as I have time and play HTTR, I'll see if anything else occurs to me.

Take care.

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 69
RE: Tips thread - 2/19/2004 3:37:05 AM   
Tzar007


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From elmo3:


Mark

Thanks for some great advice. I have a question regarding armor . In general it's not a good idea for armor to attack alone. It may take an objective but it is very poor at holding it. Is the concept of combined arms accurately portrayed in HTTR, i.e. does unsupported armor generally have a hard time holding ground? Thanks.

elmo3

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Post #: 70
RE: Tips thread - 2/19/2004 3:37:44 AM   
Tzar007


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From MarkShot:


It seems in the estabs that most armor forces still have some degree of motorized/mechanized infantry included as part of the organic force.

I find armor capable of holding ground if it has had time to dig-in.

The best person to answer this would be Dave as he knows how armors works behind the scenes.

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 71
RE: Tips thread - 2/19/2004 3:40:26 AM   
Tzar007


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From MarkShot:


Regarding using road blocks ... here are some illustrations from a quick game which I just completed. A para brigade has landed to seize a crossing.

There are two important considerations. First, how to seize the crossing. Second, how to isolate the engagement area by stopping/delaying German reinforcements. I will not address the first matter. As to regards to the second, the answer is to use our handful of motorized units to set up road blocks along likely avenues for German reinforcements. That is what you see here. Road block orders West, North, and East.


MarkShot has attached this image:




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Tzar007 -- 3/7/2004 4:43:23 PM >

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Post #: 72
RE: Tips thread - 2/19/2004 3:42:16 AM   
Tzar007


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From MarkShot:


Here you will see that we have already taken the objectives and that Germans reinforcements are just beginning to reach the area from the West and the East.


MarkShot has attached this image:


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Post #: 73
RE: Tips thread - 2/19/2004 3:43:08 AM   
Tzar007


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From MarkShot:


Here is another view of the situation about four hours later. My road blocks are still interdicting enemy reinforcements.


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Post #: 74
RE: Tips thread - 2/19/2004 3:43:58 AM   
Tzar007


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From elmo3:


Mark

Your example above raises a question that I haven't answered from the RDOA demo yet. How much micro managing is required when positioning units to take advantage of terrain? For example do I have to zoom down to the most detailed level to be sure a unit is completely in the woods but not so far in that they have no line of sight or does the program interpret your orders well enough to figure that out? Thanks.

elmo3

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 75
RE: Tips thread - 2/19/2004 3:44:49 AM   
Tzar007


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From MarkShot:


So, what was the final result of deploying these road blocks?

The road block to the West eventually collapsed, but not before delaying the German assualt until day break. Of course, at day break, the Germans attacked over open ground and were much more exposed as they advanced.

The road block to the East managed to stop the Germans from approaching any further from that direction.

Both bought time for the defenders at the crossing. Both called in and spotted mortar fire on the approaching Germans which disrupted their advance and attrited their forces.

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 76
RE: Tips thread - 2/19/2004 3:45:30 AM   
Tzar007


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From MarkShot:


Depending on the force size and what you are trying to accomplish, you may want to zoom in to the highest level. Certainly you should when targetting arty or airstrikes.

Also, note that improvements were made in HTTR in regards to AI's utilization of terrain features for multi-unit forces. (like knowing where the tree line is)

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 77
RE: Tips thread - 2/19/2004 3:46:24 AM   
Tzar007


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From Mr.Frag:


Mark, how big a difference do you find with armor now that it engages at range?

Can a small armor unit (such as the poor remains of the 9th recon) hold large amounts of troops at bay with a delaying withdrawl order now instead of getting walked over and creamed at point blank range?

Do they reposition when charged or stay still and let units close on them?

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Post #: 78
RE: Tips thread - 2/19/2004 3:48:08 AM   
Tzar007


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From MarkShot:


I am sorry, but it is hard for me to answer your question. I think it's been well over a year that I played the RDOA version that you are familiar with. So, it's hard for me to recall exactly how the two compare. But I think you will clearly notice the difference.

I have not used the new and improved delay order, but I really do want to give it a try and see how it performs.

Perhaps, Dave can better answer at what point an armor unit will give ground.

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 79
RE: Tips thread - 2/19/2004 3:50:20 AM   
Tzar007


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From Arjuna:


quote:

Mark

Thanks for some great advice. I have a question regarding armor . In general it's not a good idea for armor to attack alone. It may take an objective but it is very poor at holding it. Is the concept of combined arms accurately portrayed in HTTR, i.e. does unsupported armor generally have a hard time holding ground? Thanks.

elmo3


elmo3,

If armour is in covered terrain ( woods/orchards/urban ) and finds itself next to enemy infantry while having no friendly infantry close at hand it suffers an adverse "shock" effect and will thus be more likely to retreat. Artillery and Base units also suffer this shock effect. On the other hand if armour is assaulting enemy infantry and guns in the open then they will suffer the shock effect.

Most of the armoured battalions in the game have a company of mech inf cross attached. When assaulting into covered terrain, this mech inf company will generally lead the charge with the armoured companies following behind, providing the heavy supporting firepower. On defence the mech inf company will usually be in front, but there is a limit to the area it can cover. So the battalion asa whole is still vulnerable when trying to defend covered areas - best to use a propper infantry battalion for that job.

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 80
RE: Tips thread - 2/19/2004 3:51:04 AM   
Tzar007


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From Mr.Frag:


Dave, that sounds fantastic!

The shock effect sounds like exactly what was needed for armor as used rightly it is deadly, caught offguard it is target practice.

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Post #: 81
RE: Tips thread - 2/19/2004 3:51:53 AM   
Tzar007


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From elmo3:


Thanks for the answers guys. This one is moving closer to the "buy" column.

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 82
RE: Tips thread - 2/19/2004 3:52:34 AM   
Tzar007


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From Arjuna:


What do you mean "closer to"? I presumed it would keep you from moving "out of"!

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 83
RE: Tips thread - 2/19/2004 3:53:28 AM   
Tzar007


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From elmo3:


Arjuna

Sorry but I'm not quite there yet. My hesitation has nothing to do with what I've read here or seen of the RDOA demo so far. More a case of competition for my limited games budget. Time, not money, is the constraint. So many games, so little time...

Is there a list of scenarios for HTTR posted anywhere? I'm curious about how many there are and their lengths.

BTW, does your nickname derive from the Bhavagad Gita?

elmo3

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 84
RE: Tips thread - 2/19/2004 3:54:13 AM   
Tzar007


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From MarkShot:


Here is the list:

{link to thread removed since thread was lost after forum hacking incident}

Time frames (length of scenario simulation) range from ~12 hours to ~10 days.

Numbers of units (individually controllable or combinable as forces) range from ~15 to ~200+.

Number of objectives (points awarded for completion or duration of occupation) ranges from ~2 to ~15.

Reinforcement time frame windows can be as tight as ~30 minutes or as long ~10 hours.

Some have randomized drop/landing zone locations so that you can not know where the enemy will be.

Many have selectable reinforcement levels for both sides along with adjustable weather and supply levels.

Forces vary between foot infantry, motorized infantry, mechanize infantry, and armor along with all the possible combinations.

Side roles vary from fully defensive to fully offensive and multi-roled where you may need to defend strongly at one location like a bridge so that the follow on force can cross it and carry on the offensive elsewhere.

Also, Panther has recently hired a dedicated scenario designer to focus on further evolution of scenario aspect of the AA series. (In the past, it was jointly handled by designers/programmers and beta testers.)

I personally hope to see a community of skilled map makers and scenario designers sprout from the community similar to what has happened with the Combat Mission series.

Others are also eagerly anticipating the development of a cadre of online head-to-head players.

There is much promise there and it all begins with the small step of swiping your credit card through the card reader at your local shopping mall.

< Message edited by Tzar007 -- 2/28/2004 8:45:35 PM >

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 85
RE: Tips thread - 2/19/2004 3:55:46 AM   
Tzar007


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From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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From Mr.Frag:


quote:

There is much promise there and it all begins with the small step of swiping your credit card through the card reader at your local shopping mall.


I always look at it from a price vs play standpoint, not that I personally care about the money ... Take the number of hours you will be playing over the price. Anything that drops below $1 is a great value. I suspect based on RDOA, HTTR will be in the < $0.10 range based on the number of scenarios and replayability aspects with variable reinforcements, different starting positions, etc. That makes it a fantastic value!

Tough to critique stuff that entertains for less then a dime an hour as I sit here drinking my Starbucks $3.00 coffee

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 86
RE: Tips thread - 2/19/2004 3:56:25 AM   
Tzar007


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From MarkShot:


Mark - Thanks. I missed that thread somehow.

Mr. Frag - Sounds like you need a 3 hour caffeine buzz to break even on the coffee.

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Post #: 87
RE: Tips thread - 2/19/2004 3:57:55 AM   
Tzar007


Posts: 761
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From MarkShot:


Yeh, I was thinking that the other day that good video games give tremendous value for the money you pay versus film and other media.

However, I, also, find that even despite attempting to be discerning about what you buy, it is often hard to know prior to having a game for quite a while whether you will play it for years or after a few months move on to something else. It seems to be a highly individual matter that despite reviews and other awards can only be determined by spending time with the game itself.

So, if one was to determine the true cost of this hobby, then you need to factor in the games purchased that you don't play for a couple years and the cost of computer hardware. For some people, such as myself (running a software development business), having PCs is a necessity. For others the purchase of computer hardware is driven by their gaming hobby which then also needs to be factored into the cost. Oh yes, I forgot there is also the ancillary cost as the result of continuous software upgrades: new O/S, virus scanners, fire walls, backups software, office suites, etc...

So, is it a cheap hobby or an expensive hobby? I guess it depends on how creative your accounting is and how supportive your significant other is. (Mine is very supportive. Although she is unable to really appreciate my hobby or its subject matter.)

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 88
RE: Tips thread - 2/19/2004 3:59:02 AM   
Tzar007


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From MarkShot:


Okay, I think it is time to get this thread back on topic which is "HTTR Tips and Tactics".

Let's talk today about using the interface. Or more accurately, we will talk about how I use the interface and you can take away from that what you will.

I want to talk about the unit info box as you have them mapped to 10 function keys and there is quite a bit to choose from. I'll step through each and then do some additional posts showing some examples where I can.

It is important to note that all the information below is available in the side bar for each unit. However, the value of the unit info box is that it allows to summarize the overall situation at a glance as opposed to clicking through many units.

* F1 - Combat Power *

This measures the degree of fire power a unit can deliver. The important thing to remember is that it represents powers of 10. So,

1 = 10**0 = 1
2 = 10**1 = 10
3 = 10**2 = 100
4 = 10**3 = 1000

So, a unit with a value of 2 delivers 10 times more fire power than a unit with a value of 1.

I don't tend to use this one all that much. But it could be useful to beginners to get a sense of the value of your units. Mainly I use it when I have airstrike available. I want to find current units (intel toggle) with accurate contact information and a high combat power rating. You really don't want to waste one of your few precious air strikes on the company cooks.

* F2 - Strength *

This tells you the strength of a unit relative to its full strength in the Estab (TOE). So, remember scenarios can begin with units starting out understrength. As such, it is not a good measure of casualties taken or inflicted. However, if you keep that in mind, then you can still use it for that purpose. For me, I hardly use it.

Here is a handy trick to get your own actual casualties. Highlight the HQ of a particular force in question. Now, hold the SHIFT key and press the DOWN ARROW. You will have selected all the units. On the left side bar, you will see various statistics that represent the sum of all selected units. Thus, you can check your losses.

* F3 - Rout Status *

This tells you whether your troops are doing what was intended for them or they are getting very rattled by the enemy. I think I spend about 90% of the game in this mode. This basically answers the question at a glance: Is my attack succeeding? Is my defense holding? This along with objectives and the locations which your forces occupy on the map will tell you how the scenario is proceeding. (Yes, looking at the Win Meter in the upper left is a good idea too.)

* F4 - Task *

This tells you what command a unit is executing. It can be the result of a direct order from you or an implicit order generated by AI superiors. For implicit orders, it need not match the order which you gave. For example, you may command an attack, but your AI superior will first give the command to subordinates to move to the FUP.

I find this mode useful for a number of things:

(1) You can watch as orders propagate through the chain of command. With order delays enabled, this can take simulated hours depending on the situation. Thus, you can get a sense of how close your orders are to reach the line units in the field. (My advice to new players is to get used to making a note of the time you issue an order versus when the entire force has received it. If you do this, you will start to develop an awareness of how long things take.)

(2) You can figure out why your force is not doing what you have commanded. For example, as above, perhaps they haven't received the new orders yet. Or perhaps, they are exhausted and are getting some rest. Or perhaps, they everything has gone FUBAR and they are reorging. Or perhaps, the given units have been placed in reserve and so they are not attacking.

(3) You can determine what stage an attack is currently in. Attacking units will go through implicit tasks of: MOVE to get to the FUP, REORG as they prepare at the FUP, ASSAULT as they head out from the FUP, REORG as they prepare to secure the objective, MOVE as they move to secure the objective, and DEFEND as the objective is secured. So, if you see your units REORGing at the FUP, then the assault will be starting soon. For example, when you see it switch over to ASSAULT, that's time to begin your prep bombardment of a primed bridge.

(4) You can determine what the enemy is up to. If you encounter his units, you may see MOVE or ASSAULT. If you see ASSAULT that means he is serious about making life miserable for you and and expect a coordinated effort as opposed to his units just stumbling about.

* F5 - Deployment *

This tells you just how prepared the unit is for contact from minimally prepared to it is sitting in a concrete bunker and has the exact range settings worked out for every MG42 position.

I find this mode useful for:

(1) Determining how ready your defense is for the enemy's arrival. You can see if a delaying action elsewhere has succeeded. If the defenders get dug-in, then your plan worked.

(2) Determining how tough enemy resistance is going to be. If you find enemy units entrenched, it is going to be tough going and take a lot of arty.

(3) This can also be useful for planning airstrikes. If you are looking to cause casualties, then it is better to hit a unit that is not deployed (as long as it is stopped).

* F6 - Facing *

I use this rarely.

I find this mode useful for:

(1) Where does the AI think the threat is?

(2) Did you catch the enemy by suprise? (Units will reorient their facing if need be.)

* F7 - Cohesion *

I use this from time to time.

I find this mode useful for:

(1) Determining how disorganized an attacking force has become. When it reaches a certain degree, the HQ will have the attackers fall back and regroup to make another push. {To some extent, closer FUPs reduce the likelihood of this occurring. It's best to avoid this as it can totally remove pressure from the enemy and give up ground already taken.}

* F8 - Fatigue *

This tells you whether your troops are fresh or have been pushed way beyond the limits of human endurance. What things will drive them exhaustion? Movement ... particularly on foot, through tough terrain, or at night; combat; and for mortar/arty crews lots of fire missions.

If find this mode useful for:

(1) Get a rough idea of how much you can ask of a force. For example, fresh infantry can be asked to force march at top speed into a battle. However, infantry that is already tired should be allowed to shift positions at a normal march and preferably in daylight.

(2) Get a rough idea of how a force is recovering its strength. For example, an attack force having taken its objective may go into a defensive posture while the front moves past it. After a while, it will recover and could be replaced by rear area troops (Senior HQ and supply) and be ordered into a new engagement.

(3) Figuring out why your mortars have stopped firing even when they still have rounds left. They are just plain exhausted.

* F9 - Morale *

I hardly use this.

* F10 - Arty Ammo *

This indicated the percentage of ammo still left to gun and mortar crews.

This mode is useful:

(1) At a glance determining who has ammo left and how fast it is going. In any active battle, arty will tend to get expended within a matter of hours as opposed to lasting an entire 24 hour period.

(2) You can use this in conjunction with a tip I showed you earlier which uses gun units in time shifts (on call and rest) in order to provide arty support through out a 24 hour period.

---

Once again, this is how I play. It's not how everyone else plays or how you should play. But I think this might help for those perhaps initially felt overwhelmed by the level of information available.

I'll try to find sometime later to post some examples.

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 89
RE: Tips thread - 2/25/2004 3:28:19 AM   
Tzar007


Posts: 761
Joined: 2/7/2004
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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From Golf33:

quote:

This measures the degree of fire power a unit can deliver. The important thing to remember is that it represents powers of 10.


Actually it's powers of two, not ten. A unit showing combat power 2 is twice as effective as one showing combat power 1, and a unit showing combat power 4 is 8 times as effective. It also represents a fair bit more than just firepower as it takes into account many other factors. Essentially it gives you a snapshot of the total effectiveness of the unit.

quote:

* F6 - Facing *

I use this rarely.

I find this mode useful for:

(1) Where does the AI think the threat is?

(2) Did you catch the enemy by suprise? (Units will reorient their facing if need be.)


I also hardly use this display since selecting a unit or group of units displays a white box for each showing their current footprint and facing. I find this easier to use and it provides more information than the F6 display.

quote:

* F9 - Morale *


Morale is useful to keep in mind when formulating a plan, especially if you have troops of widely differing quality. Use low-morale troops for secondary or less dangerous tasks and high-morale troops for tough assignments and anything important to your plan. Low-morale troops will break under fire a lot sooner and take longer to recover, whereas high-morale troops can be tough to shift in defence and will press on despite punishment in the attack.

Good tips mate!

Cheers
33

(in reply to Tzar007)
Post #: 90
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