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RE: First impressions here please

 
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RE: First impressions here please - 2/7/2005 7:46:24 PM   
Mike_w

 

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Joined: 1/30/2005
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quote:

Air-land Doctrine was based on defeating the enemy throughout the depth of battlefield. You basically divide the battlefield into three areas, close, deep, and rear. The close fight was normally defined at the brigade and lower level fight (the area that FPG operates). This area is dominated by direct fire supported by the other arms. The deep fight is normally fought at the division and higher level. The intent here is to disrupt the enemy before he even arrives at the close fight! This is where you use Air interdiction, long range arty, deep strike attack aviation, and special forces to disrupt the enemy. The key to rear operations was to ensure that you are able to provide all the necessary resources to the close and deep fight. This requirement drove the need to secure your rear area and prevent it from being disrupted by the enemy. Air land battle is primarily an operational concept, not a tactical one. The tenants of air land battle were agility, initative, and depth. It fosters risk taking at the operational level (i.e., I will leave this area lightly defended so I can mass my forces at this area).

The realm of FPG is the realm of tactics. The standard saying we have in the army is that tactics are like <ahem> rear orifices, everybody has them.

Tactics are the lifeblood of the brigade, battalion, company, platoon, and squad leaders. There are certain guidelines that professionals tend to follow in reference to tactics, however, nothing is set in stone. What works in one situation will not automatically work in another one. The key things that any commander should strive for is to know himself (what assets do I have and what shape are they?), know the terrain (where is the best place to gain an advantage over the enemey?), and know the enemy (how does he operate? What are his strengths and weaknesses? Where is he located and likely to go?). If you know these things you should be able to implement a plan to defeat him. The last thing you want in tactics is flexibility. The primary means to maintain flexibility at the tactical level is to maintain a decent reserve. This should give you the ability to react to any changes on the battlefield.

Sorry for the long post but wanted to throw my 2 cents worth in a very good discussion!

Regards,

Tbird3



Tbird3,
It seems that the current doctrine of Maneuver warfare is more applicable to the lower tacticl levels than Air/land battle. My question is, although this doctrine emerged in the late 80's, was it implemented at all by 1989? I know that it reached its "perfection" in Op. Enduring Freedom but would it be realistic to have an AI that practiced it in 1989? (if it was even possible to program). I know that the USMC was indoctrinating there junior officers and NCO's in this concept at that time...

(in reply to iberian)
Post #: 121
RE: First impressions here please - 2/7/2005 8:06:42 PM   
Chelco

 

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Hi Mike, I agree with you. Air/Land Battle doctrine was born after the Cold War.
As for the AI, I have seen it to do some nice things:
1) When commanding WP, it deploys in groups, each one corresponding to each battalion.
2) In AI vs AI games, I have seen it to encircle enemy forces
3) Is very aggressive (sometimes a good attack is the best defense)
However, these nice aspects are overshadowed by negatives:
a) The AI happily positions its companys in an open field which is overlooked by several hills around. A formula for disaster.
b) On the attack, it brings its firepower in a piecemeal manner. You almost can forget about the value of flanking the AI while counterattacking.
c) The AI as WP: recon assets too forward in comparison to the main force.

Cheers,

(in reply to Mike_w)
Post #: 122
RE: First impressions here please - 2/7/2005 8:46:30 PM   
Siljanus

 

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I forget which scenario I was playing as NATO but at the end of the game as I was checking over the surviving WP units I saw that the AI had a mobile missle launcher that had survived. It also was capable of carrying a nuclear payload. Will the AI ever use nukes in any of the scenarios? Would make it rather interesting...

And on that note, has the WP under AI control used gas in any of the scenarios?

< Message edited by Siljanus -- 2/7/2005 1:49:11 PM >

(in reply to Chelco)
Post #: 123
RE: First impressions here please - 2/7/2005 9:23:19 PM   
TheHellPatrol


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Siljanus

I forget which scenario I was playing as NATO but at the end of the game as I was checking over the surviving WP units I saw that the AI had a mobile missle launcher that had survived. It also was capable of carrying a nuclear payload. Will the AI ever use nukes in any of the scenarios? Would make it rather interesting...

And on that note, has the WP under AI control used gas in any of the scenarios?
As of yet i haven't seen the ai use chemicals or nukes, but what really suprises me is that when a scenario is over (i win, full fow etc. ai as WP), and i am allowed to browse the battlefield, there is always a Hind chopper(assuming the scenario has one) in/near the corner of the map. I often wonder...is it protecting the ai HQ? Why haven't i seen it in action? FOW? When the game ends it is always on the edge of the map.

_____________________________

A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.
Henry David Thoreau


(in reply to Siljanus)
Post #: 124
RE: First impressions here please - 2/7/2005 10:20:21 PM   
Siljanus

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: TheHellPatrol

As of yet i haven't seen the ai use chemicals or nukes, but what really suprises me is that when a scenario is over (i win, full fow etc. ai as WP), and i am allowed to browse the battlefield, there is always a Hind chopper(assuming the scenario has one) in/near the corner of the map. I often wonder...is it protecting the ai HQ? Why haven't i seen it in action? FOW? When the game ends it is always on the edge of the map.


Heh, I've noticed the same thing as well. Next time I play I should check the WP diary at the end of the game to see if the Hind ever engaged any of my forces or if the pilot was just drunk on vodka and stayed in the rear...

(in reply to TheHellPatrol)
Post #: 125
RE: First impressions here please - 2/7/2005 10:21:48 PM   
kmb

 

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I justed played the titans scenario and the wp also had the chopper in the bottom corner next to the hq.I am a newb and have been destroying the wp..........I am I lucky or bad ai?

(in reply to TheHellPatrol)
Post #: 126
RE: First impressions here please - 2/7/2005 10:49:43 PM   
RobertCrandall


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From: Burlington, Ontario
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Call me old fashioned but I just could not bear the idea of the computer dropping nuclear weapons on people, even simulated people. Maybe I watched the Terminator movie too many times, or maybe I just had trouble coming up with a rational way to control it and not lose VPs in the process. Anyway, the target aquisition routine for nuclear weapons is not likely to find many tempting targets and not fire very often at all. For version 1.01 of the game I might make it a little less rational but don't quote me on that!

Cheers, Rob.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Siljanus

I forget which scenario I was playing as NATO but at the end of the game as I was checking over the surviving WP units I saw that the AI had a mobile missle launcher that had survived. It also was capable of carrying a nuclear payload. Will the AI ever use nukes in any of the scenarios? Would make it rather interesting...

And on that note, has the WP under AI control used gas in any of the scenarios?

(in reply to Siljanus)
Post #: 127
RE: First impressions here please - 2/7/2005 10:56:19 PM   
RobertCrandall


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Ah, helicopters. They can be devastating if they obtain surprise but are sitting ducks if they don't. I got tired of seeing them all shot down within 15 - 60 minutes of first moving so I tightened up their employment considerably. They are now more a 'reserve of last resort' and are kept for only certain kinds of high-payoff, low-risk strikes. Your particular games may not have triggered it in which case their loitering at the map edge would not be irrational. On the other hand, I might just check it again and bump up the general aggression level if the side is visibly losing. Given that the premise of the game is a short war - go for broke and count the losses when its over - it might make more sense to take a 'use it or lose it' attitude on the part of the AI.

I'll take a look.

Cheers, Rob.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Siljanus

quote:

ORIGINAL: TheHellPatrol

As of yet i haven't seen the ai use chemicals or nukes, but what really suprises me is that when a scenario is over (i win, full fow etc. ai as WP), and i am allowed to browse the battlefield, there is always a Hind chopper(assuming the scenario has one) in/near the corner of the map. I often wonder...is it protecting the ai HQ? Why haven't i seen it in action? FOW? When the game ends it is always on the edge of the map.


Heh, I've noticed the same thing as well. Next time I play I should check the WP diary at the end of the game to see if the Hind ever engaged any of my forces or if the pilot was just drunk on vodka and stayed in the rear...

(in reply to Siljanus)
Post #: 128
RE: First impressions here please - 2/7/2005 11:18:42 PM   
TheHellPatrol


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@Robert: I don't have a problem at all with the ai not using nukes, i understand your decision and it does not detract at all from the game. The helicopter issue, just to give you more info: all that remained of the WP was an HQ, one or two arty units and an AAA. This was the case on more than a few occasions, but i was playing a purely defensive battle and did not seek out the remaining WP forces.

_____________________________

A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.
Henry David Thoreau


(in reply to RobertCrandall)
Post #: 129
RE: First impressions here please - 2/7/2005 11:20:10 PM   
RobertCrandall


Posts: 3056
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From: Burlington, Ontario
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tbird3

Okay folks, my 2 cents worth on first impressions. I have played about 6 games now, both WP and NATO. ...


Thank you Tbird3 for your thoughtful and well considered remarks. In fact, everyone posting here has given me a lots of ideas and the energy to throw myself back into it! Thank you everyone.

I have made a host of small and not so small changes to the game based on all this feedback and we are busy playtesting again. Not everything that has been suggested is going to make it into 1.01 in time (e.g. dismounted infantry) but I think you will see it evolving in a direction that you like. The idea is to make adjustments gracefully without blowing what is there all to pieces. You would agree I'm sure, that there is some value to that approach!

The game can't be everything to everybody but I hope that will presents a coherant viewpoint and a worthwhile gaming experience to all those willing to spend some time getting into it.

Cheers all, Rob.

(in reply to Tbird3)
Post #: 130
RE: First impressions here please - 2/7/2005 11:35:03 PM   
RobertCrandall


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Hi Nils - its nice to welcome a SimCan veteran to the ranks!

1. The NATO and WP forces had a *lot* of engineers in their real life OBs and it just became cumbersome to keep dealing with them all the time. It gave the AI fits too. We looked at the essence of the engineering capability and ended up deciding to abstract them a little. At least one of the scenarios still has an engineering counter as I recall and it would not be a big deal to put some back in a little later. The only real loss as you note is that you do not have engineers to lay minefields during the course of the game. The scenarios play so fast so that we found that by the time the engineers had received their orders, moved and laid the fields (30 minutes for the latter alone) the game was often pretty much over. Once you get used to artillery delivered minefields (circa 10 minutes tops) then you get out of the mood of wanting to wait.... Building and blowing bridges are far more important and these we just streamlined.

2. Ah, the other unit orders. They were in the game originally but after a while they just did not seem sufficiently distinct from what else was in there to be worth the effort. Even when I studied the original source code is was hard to tell what the difference was. My recollection is that they were really aliases for different sets of unit SOP settings and these in turn drove the behaviour that you saw (or thought you saw). I deemphasized SOP in FPG for a while in favour of giving the player more direct control and so these other orders faded into obscurity. I am on an SOP kick again right now but I would still rather just let the player change SOP directly rather than collar him with my preset assumptions.

3. Group orders. After you give the orders you can click on each unit in the group in turn and drag the waypoints to just where you want them. (This does not cost you order points if you are playing with the limited staff rule.) This is how you should create your formations, etc. If this is not good enough then just create the first group waypoint and make that the center of your formation staging area. Then go back through the units and move their waypoints into a formation of choice. When all of these moves are complete then your forces will be ready for another group order to make their advance to contact or whatever. Sometimes it takes a little time and care to get these things right, but that is why we kept the unit density down (Steve Newberg of SimCan was adamant about this when we discussed FPG back at the beginning) and the games are pretty short anyway. As in many things, taking the time to set up the attack properly pays dividends later.

Cheers, Rob.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Nils

FPG is my first Matrixgame ever (and this is my first post in this forum, too...).

Being a big fan of the old school SimCan MBT games, I was eagerly awaiting the release of FPG. Bought it the very first day and, overall, I am impressed! The graphics are cool, the game play is challenging, and the cold war is one of my favourite wargaming subjects, making FPG a perfect computer game for me. A great new edition of a classic wargame!

Still, I was wondering why some of the features of the original MBT were dropped in the new edititon:
1. The original MBT had engineers that could lay bridges and especially minefields. They are gone now as individual units and I can't see how those are designed into other units (like dismounted infantry).
2. The order menu was simplified. Why did orders like advance, fall back and such get dropped? I always felt that they added a lot of tactical nuances to the game. Or are these choices modeled via stealth???
3. It seems the logic of formation orders has changed. I haven't played FPG enough yet to really make a comparison, but judging from the documentation, group orders in FPG helps units arriving in same location at the same time, without any regard whatsoever to tactical disposition of the individual units. Moreover, after giving a group order, you are not able to modify the waypoints of the individual units of the groups. I think that makes the coordination of large forces a lot more complicated.

Lastly, is there a way to print out the scenario maps? Pre-planning your battle is a big part of FPG and a hardcopy might help in this task.

Cheers,
Nils

(in reply to Nils)
Post #: 131
RE: First impressions here please - 2/7/2005 11:43:33 PM   
RobertCrandall


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Driving the AI. The map is divided up into 12 sectors and each is rated (or not) for VPs for clearing or occupying. This has a really, really big impact on the AI and where it wants to send it's forces! Study this (Staff Summary F6, yes I know those little numbers are hard to read) before the game starts and you will get a huge hint on what the AI will try to do.

I'm not sure which scenario you played but I hope that the AI went into your original deployment area because there were VPs to be had there. It would have had some very general knowledge of where the center of gravity of your forces started and there is a secondary chance that it went there just because it was feeling hungry still.

The basic premise of this particular WW3 game is that it was a very short, go for broke, and devil take the hindmost war. Every hour counted and every general had to do his utmost to win it before time was up. Just sitting around was not an option!

Cheers, Rob.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Chelco

quote:

ORIGINAL: Black Cat

Since I only play against the AI I wonder how that is in attack and defense ?


Ey Cat!
Finally could get an additional half and hour of time with my FPG. Man, life if hectic if you have kids ...
I decided to make a custom scenario setted up a WP with a tank and a mounted infantry Btn (AI) vs NATO (a tank Co and a mounted infantry Co, all these under my command). Objective was a urbanized sector near NATO deployment area. I used the no-fog of war option for myself to see the AI moves.
The WP AI moved with their infantry in front, neatly spaced units to provide a screen, I guess. To my entire satisfaction, it used their infantry to enter into the urbanized area (objective sector) and then rolled up the tanks into the fight. It was very cool.
Then, (to my amusement) having all the objective sector controlled, the AI rolled into the adjacent sector (my deployment area) to basically clean it up. Good stuff! My NATO forces were not there anymore. It looked like the AI has some kind of knowledge system, which basically told it I should be there. Is this possible?
Main conclusion: AI is aggressive.


< Message edited by RobertCrandall -- 2/7/2005 9:43:58 PM >

(in reply to Chelco)
Post #: 132
RE: First impressions here please - 2/7/2005 11:56:33 PM   
RobertCrandall


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The T-80s in 1989 did indeed have an AT-8 (Songster) ATGM that they could launch down the tube of the gun if they had to. Reading between the lines I believe that it had an astromical failure rate and was feared by its own crews more than by NATO. I can't prove that but I considered it sufficiently likely that I left it out of the T-80 armaments list. Just appearing in 1989 were the replacement AT-11 (Sniper) missiles but I doubt there were many available at that stage.

You can look this sort of thing up by browsing the "FPG Platforms.pdf" file that ships with the game. It is a little dry but what the heck. The BMPs carry AT-3s (Sagger) and AT-5s (Spandrel) depending on the model in question. The AT-5s are nasty.

Cheers, Rob.



quote:

ORIGINAL: Marc Schwanebeck

Yes true, NATO weapons shine at long distances, same for the MBT cannons. The russians btw have also ATGMs, mounted on the BMPS, and on wheeled vehicles. I´m not 100% sure if it´s implemented in FPG but the T-80 (at least some versions) of it also had ATGMs mounted. Once WP forces manage to get their mech inf close it will get dirty. The BMPs cannon can be quite lethal at close ranges.


With regards to reading, it´s almost a "classic" companion to playing FPG, I can recommend "Team Yankee". It´s out of print, but you can grab a copy on eBay or Amazon Marketplace / Z-Shops once in ahwile.

(in reply to Marc von Martial)
Post #: 133
RE: First impressions here please - 2/8/2005 12:11:24 AM   
RobertCrandall


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From: Burlington, Ontario
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1. Historical unit tags are just abreviations of the unit name - hopefully no more than 4 characters or they will not fit. It just helps you identify quickly which unit is which on the map. The '2-7' etc business looks like the default caption which has number of runners on the left and a relative speed rating on the right. In this game everything is 'fast' and the speed rating is not much help but for leg and immobile units it will show a 1 or 0 and that will help.

2. There is definitely a counterbattery mission for artillery . It depends how many units are assigned counterbattery, whether there are higher value missions being requested than counterfire, and how often the potential target is firing.

3. Sending out a lot of radio traffic by giving lots and lots of orders definitely can give your HQ location away. That is very deliberate and is meant to be a natural check on a player's desire to micromanage. You can give a lot of orders if you like but you had better be prepared for the consequences. Dilemmas, dilemmas.... Make sure that the radio message gauges are enabled in the game options setup so that you are aware of your general traffic levels and can learn what is risky to you.

Cheers, Rob.



quote:

ORIGINAL: Fulcrum

A few quick questions:

1. What does the second number mean when you select "Historic Unit Tags" for the counter information? It doesn't seem to be spelled out in the manual. Such as 2-7, 3-7, 4-7. I've figured out the first number represents the number of runners left in the unit, but for the life of me I can't extrapolate what the second number represents.

2. Is there counterbattery fire for artillery? You can detect enemy HQ's by their radio traffic, but it doesn't seem to detect on-map artillery units that are firing.

3. Finally, is it me, or does it seem like the enemy locks onto your HQ? My HQ's position was blown and the enemy started raining down arty on it. But no matter where it moved, artillery fire shifted just as quickly.

Other than that, great game guys.

(in reply to Fulcrum)
Post #: 134
RE: First impressions here please - 2/8/2005 12:27:04 AM   
Crimguy


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Re: nukes: Nothing wrong with a little insanity on the part of the computer. Don't forget it's just a game and even in reality a general must be wary of the chance of a nuclear exchange, no matter how unlikely. Nuclear possibility (die roll) when >75% losses is not a bad idea IMHO.

I have not seen a Hind attack in 6 outings. Always in the corner.

quote:

ORIGINAL: RobertCrandall

Ah, helicopters. They can be devastating if they obtain surprise but are sitting ducks if they don't. I got tired of seeing them all shot down within 15 - 60 minutes of first moving so I tightened up their employment considerably. They are now more a 'reserve of last resort' and are kept for only certain kinds of high-payoff, low-risk strikes. Your particular games may not have triggered it in which case their loitering at the map edge would not be irrational. On the other hand, I might just check it again and bump up the general aggression level if the side is visibly losing. Given that the premise of the game is a short war - go for broke and count the losses when its over - it might make more sense to take a 'use it or lose it' attitude on the part of the AI.

I'll take a look.

Cheers, Rob.


< Message edited by Crimguy -- 2/7/2005 3:33:24 PM >

(in reply to RobertCrandall)
Post #: 135
RE: First impressions here please - 2/8/2005 2:10:28 AM   
Siljanus

 

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I can understand having the AI be a bit hesitant regarding throwing around nukes due to the VP penalty. But since gas doesn't have any downside to it within the game, I would think that the AI as the WP player would make more use of gas as part of their strategy to overwhelm NATO forces. At least in gaming terms, it would be an additional thing for the player to react to, making the game even more interesting. Nothing like WMD to keep you on your toes...

< Message edited by Siljanus -- 2/7/2005 7:17:29 PM >

(in reply to Crimguy)
Post #: 136
RE: First impressions here please - 2/8/2005 2:48:29 AM   
Mike_w

 

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quote:

Hi Mike, I agree with you. Air/Land Battle doctrine was born after the Cold War.

Chelco,

From what I understand, MAnuever warfare is the evolution of airland battle. It is about reinforcing success and striking where the enemy isn't to sew confusion and force an enemy out of his planned route/fighting position. By forcing him to redeploy to face a force behind him, he becomes exposed. I just wonder when this was implemented..and if I am right.

Chelco, if you Tbird or anyone knows, I'm interested as this would apply to the tactical element in this game. Hmm, maybe a discussion for the general forum?


quote:

Call me old fashioned but I just could not bear the idea of the computer dropping nuclear weapons on people, even simulated people. Maybe I watched the Terminator movie too many times, or maybe I just had trouble coming up with a rational way to control it and not lose VPs in the process. Anyway, the target aquisition routine for nuclear weapons is not likely to find many tempting targets and not fire very often at all. For version 1.01 of the game I might make it a little less rational but don't quote me on that!


Rob, would it be possible to program the AI to let loose with nukes when it loses a certain percentage of its forces and there is a section of the map where many player units are concentrated? This way, the AI would only use them in a "desperate" situation, much like a real commander but would actually do some real damage as opposed to a random shot.

GReat thread!

< Message edited by Mike_w -- 2/8/2005 12:58:26 AM >

(in reply to Siljanus)
Post #: 137
RE: First impressions here please - 2/8/2005 9:31:11 AM   
CoffeeMug

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: RobertCrandall

Five GREAT posts of Robert snipped



Heya Rob,

get yourself out of here, add more features and dont waste time!

/me cracks the whip



No, just kidding.

Great post, great customer orientation!

It's really fun to read all given feedback and give my 5cts, too, and see all resulting in your continue efforts!

Rock on, Rob!

Group hug!

CM

(in reply to RobertCrandall)
Post #: 138
RE: First impressions here please - 2/8/2005 4:07:03 PM   
gsol69

 

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Interesting game system here, one thing I miss is individualized silhouettes for each type of hardware platform. I was a big fan of the old Avalon Hill Panzer Blitz & Panzer Leader WWII games, and one thing that kept me coming back for more was the silhouette of the Panzer IV-G and the Tiger Tanks. Being able to uniquely identify each unit by its silhouette (as opposed to all tanks having the same generic "armor" icon) made that experience a whole lot more enjoyable for me. Just wanted to get in my 2 cents.
Nice job on the whole, please consider releasing mod tools so the user community may be able to add customized silhouettes at a later time. Thanks!

(in reply to CoffeeMug)
Post #: 139
RE: First impressions here please - 2/8/2005 4:31:44 PM   
RobertCrandall


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From: Burlington, Ontario
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Hey, we agonized over this a long time. I love Panzerblitz too and know exactly what you are talking about. The problem is that modern forces are so darn mixed in terms of attached vehicles. It is hard in many cases to even decide which is the predominant vehicle and someone is sure to quibble with the choices. Then there was the problem of getting the actual artwork done...

Currently we have arbitrarily defined one silhouette for each icon type (arm car, tank, mech inf, sp arty, hq, etc) and this is meant to be a generalization that quickly communicates the general unit type to the player. I know that the exact vehicles are usually wrong. Can we change it? The biggest problem was getting suitable art and deciding which vehicle to use in ambiguous cases. If the players would rather make that decision themselves then we can enable it at some point down the road. Please don't count that as a promise - but I'll consider it. I am truly swamped with other good ideas already! Just writing them all down and organizing them properly is consuming a surprising amount of my FPG time as it is. No complaints of course, as this is a gold mine for me, but I don't want to raise expectations either.

Cheers, Rob.


quote:

ORIGINAL: gsol69

Interesting game system here, one thing I miss is individualized silhouettes for each type of hardware platform. I was a big fan of the old Avalon Hill Panzer Blitz & Panzer Leader WWII games, and one thing that kept me coming back for more was the silhouette of the Panzer IV-G and the Tiger Tanks. Being able to uniquely identify each unit by its silhouette (as opposed to all tanks having the same generic "armor" icon) made that experience a whole lot more enjoyable for me. Just wanted to get in my 2 cents.
Nice job on the whole, please consider releasing mod tools so the user community may be able to add customized silhouettes at a later time. Thanks!

(in reply to gsol69)
Post #: 140
RE: First impressions here please - 2/8/2005 4:33:38 PM   
RobertCrandall


Posts: 3056
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From: Burlington, Ontario
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quote:

ORIGINAL: CoffeeMug

Group hug!

CM


Aw, shucks, I really appreciate the thought. I enjoy doing this stuff and just wish I could do more and better. This live feedback business is wonderfully motivating to the developer and is a real strength for Matrix.

Thanks, Rob.

(in reply to CoffeeMug)
Post #: 141
RE: First impressions here please - 2/8/2005 5:53:33 PM   
Chelco

 

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Hi Rob,
Thanks for taking time answering questions. Greatly appreciated.

quote:

ORIGINAL: RobertCrandall
Driving the AI. The map is divided up into 12 sectors and each is rated (or not) for VPs for clearing or occupying. This has a really, really big impact on the AI and where it wants to send it's forces! Study this (Staff Summary F6, yes I know those little numbers are hard to read) before the game starts and you will get a huge hint on what the AI will try to do.

Exactly! Any "experiment" I do is carried out considering this objective sectors.

quote:

I'm not sure which scenario you played but I hope that the AI went into your original deployment area because there were VPs to be had there. It would have had some very general knowledge of where the center of gravity of your forces started and there is a secondary chance that it went there just because it was feeling hungry still.

My deployment area had no points for neither NATO or WP. It looked like it just went there because it was my deployment area and I should be there. It could have pushed from the objective sector out to three neighbor sectors but it chose my deployment area. No complains, I liked it.

quote:

The basic premise of this particular WW3 game is that it was a very short, go for broke, and devil take the hindmost war. Every hour counted and every general had to do his utmost to win it before time was up. Just sitting around was not an option!

I will never complain about the aggressiveness of the AI.

(in reply to RobertCrandall)
Post #: 142
RE: First impressions here please - 2/8/2005 6:26:13 PM   
Chelco

 

Posts: 741
Joined: 8/6/2003
Status: offline
Hi Mike,

quote:

ORIGINAL: Mike_w
From what I understand, MAnuever warfare is the evolution of airland battle. It is about reinforcing success and striking where the enemy isn't to sew confusion and force an enemy out of his planned route/fighting position. By forcing him to redeploy to face a force behind him, he becomes exposed. I just wonder when this was implemented..and if I am right.


I maybe wrong, but I think that the AirLand Battle adopted elements of the so-called "maneuver warfare", which in turn was the current doctrine of the USMC way time before. BTW, from the incomplete landscape a tactics junkie can assemble from just reading books, it looks like the Marines have been always obsessed with figuring out ways to fight and win with their limited budget. History says they have succeeded, and the "brain work" behind their doctrine just fascinates me.
In his book "The Art of Maneuver: Maneuver Warfare Theory and AirLand Battle", Robert Leonhard makes a controversial analysis on how only some elements of the Maneuver Warfare Theory were adopted in the AirLand Battle doctrine, leaving other very important elements out. Many references are made in that book on how the AirLand Battle doctrine is heavily influenced by the Cold War.


quote:

Chelco, if you Tbird or anyone knows, I'm interested as this would apply to the tactical element in this game.

I think this game has just the perfect scale to depict maneuver warfare. If you take a look at the examples and tactical excercises in the last pages of "Maneuver Warfare Handbook" (by William Lind), you will find that the decisions you take to solve these excercises are the same type of decisions you take in FPG.
Cheers,

(in reply to Mike_w)
Post #: 143
RE: First impressions here please - 2/8/2005 6:55:27 PM   
Tbird3

 

Posts: 21
Joined: 3/19/2002
From: Oklahoma
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Mike_w

Tbird3,
It seems that the current doctrine of Maneuver warfare is more applicable to the lower tacticl levels than Air/land battle. My question is, although this doctrine emerged in the late 80's, was it implemented at all by 1989? I know that it reached its "perfection" in Op. Enduring Freedom but would it be realistic to have an AI that practiced it in 1989? (if it was even possible to program). I know that the USMC was indoctrinating there junior officers and NCO's in this concept at that time...



Hmmm....we are getting at some convoluted issues and points here. Maneuver warfare is a generic phrase which I have a bit of heartburn. The concept of maneuver warfare as I have studied it is based on gaps and surfaces. The intent is that you want to bypass surfaces (enemy forces) and find the gaps (where the enemy ain't ). Wow, what an original concept! This translates into what is called reconnassiance pull (maneuver warfare) versus attrition warfare (find the enemy and just grind him down). Personally I think this is mostly babble that cannot be clearly applied across the spectrum of warfare. Additionally, for every "historical example" of justifiying this concept there is another one justifying attritional warfare. IMHO a military leader must have the flexibility to recognize situations where one or the other is applicable. Remember die hard Manueverist love to use the WWII wehrmacht as the shining example of manuever warfare specialists and unless I am mistaken, they lost the war.

The other issue with these concepts is that at what level of warfare do they apply? I argue that there is no "silver bullet" when it comes to war. Additionally, the general concepts that apply to war are ancient and in some ways unchanging. Do you ever wonder why military leaders continue to read the "art of war"? How can one argue with the concept of combined arms? Wow, if I combine and sychronize my archers and cav with my legions I can generate more combat power than with them separately. I think that is how Alexander, Julius Caeser, and other great tactical generals have won on the battlefield. Guess what? On the modern tactical battlefield you still want to do the same thing. The phrase we use is that we want to get every dog into the fight. I want to combine/ synchronzie my tanks, my infantry, my mortars, my artillery, my engineers and my air support so that the enemy will have deal with them simualtaneously.

Going back to airland battle doctrine and manuever babble. Remember Doctrine is a guideline not some holy writ which must be followed in all circumstances. Although generally the WP was much more inclined to follow their doctrine. Air land battle was driven by experiences from WWII and the Arab Israeli wars. The US ARMY was trying to figure out how to stop the Red Horde in Europe. The first Doctrine adopted was called Active Defense. This concept basically said that we will defend but if given an opportunity we will counter attack to disrupt the WP operations. It tended to focus more at the lower level of operational and tactical level. As stated in my previous post Air land battle doctrine was the next step. It pushed for defeating/disrupting the WP throughout the depth of battlefield and was much more aggressive in not just defending but attacking whenever the conditions were set to support offensive operations. Air land battle was adopted in 1982 and was completely embedded in the US Army by 1989.

Okay enough ranting. Bottomline, there is no manuever doctrine adopted by the US Army. You have the general principles of war such as mass, unity of command, surprise etc. that apply across the entire spectrum of war, Strategic, Operational, and tactical. Then you have doctrine which currently is a hybrid of Air Land Battle doctrine. Doctrine further narrows down your method of fighting war. Doctrine tends to focuse at strategic and operational levels of war. After doctrine you have tactics or as the Armys says tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs). TTPs are specifics of how you win an engagement. Engagements are merely battles of relatively short duration at the division and below level.

I hope this stirs up a bit of discussion or controversy. vs

Regards

Tbird3

(in reply to Mike_w)
Post #: 144
RE: First impressions here please - 2/8/2005 7:00:24 PM   
gsol69

 

Posts: 46
Joined: 2/8/2005
Status: offline
I understand the dilemma of mixed units not allowing a clear icon silhouette choice, maybe you could consider a future project to create a WWII Panzerblitz type simulation, using your FPG engine with tweaks to handle WWII confrontations. Just a thought.

Thanks for the quick response to the silhouette issue. Nice job on the product.

Go get 'em Rob!

(in reply to RobertCrandall)
Post #: 145
RE: First impressions here please - 2/8/2005 7:19:20 PM   
Mike_w

 

Posts: 54
Joined: 1/30/2005
Status: offline
quote:

Remember die hard Manueverist love to use the WWII wehrmacht as the shining example of manuever warfare specialists and unless I am mistaken, they lost the war.


True, but at a tactical level, both the U.S. and the Soviets adopted the "Blitzkrieg" style of warfare by 1942. Although operationally, attrition seemed to be the method.

Interesting, although I know that thhe USMC takes their "manuever warfare" seriously. The concepts (tactical) are taught down to the junior NCO level for small unit activity. It was interesting to watch in IRaq; although when you bypass large concentrations of the enemy to strike at his center of gravity(Baghdad) and force him to react (the essence of the doctrine) you risk the enemy just staying where they are and screwing with YOUR rear lines (see najaf and Falluja.)

(in reply to gsol69)
Post #: 146
RE: First impressions here please - 2/8/2005 7:52:05 PM   
Chelco

 

Posts: 741
Joined: 8/6/2003
Status: offline
Hi Tbird3,

quote:

I hope this stirs up a bit of discussion or controversy.

You betcha!

quote:

... Maneuver warfare is a generic phrase which I have a bit of heartburn. The concept of maneuver warfare as I have studied it is based on gaps and surfaces. The intent is that you want to bypass surfaces (enemy forces) and find the gaps (where the enemy ain't ). Wow, what an original concept!


Gaps and surfaces is just one of the so-called "filters" of the theory maneuverists advocate. As any axiomatic phrase, considering it outside the theory will certainly lead you into a reductio ad absurdum.


quote:

This translates into what is called reconnassiance pull (maneuver warfare) versus attrition warfare (find the enemy and just grind him down). Personally I think this is mostly babble that cannot be clearly applied across the spectrum of warfare.

It is Recon-pull vs. Orders-pull, two different things.


quote:

Additionally, for every "historical example" of justifiying this concept there is another one justifying attritional warfare.

Which historic example justifies attritional warfare? What happens when you are outnumbered? How do you attrit the enemy when you are outnumbered, outgunned and even worse, outmaneuvered?


quote:

IMHO a military leader must have the flexibility to recognize situations where one or the other is applicable.

You talk like maneuver warfare or attrition warfare are options a commander has in the battlefield.



quote:

Remember die hard Manueverist love to use the WWII wehrmacht as the shining example of manuever warfare specialists and unless I am mistaken, they lost the war.

Any country that takes the strategic decision to conquer the whole Europe and Russia is bound to defeat. Those strategic mistakes cannot be patched by tactical or operational wisdom.

quote:

The other issue with these concepts is that at what level of warfare do they apply? I argue that there is no "silver bullet" when it comes to war.

Maneuver warfare applies to the tactical and operational level of war. There is no silver bullet in armed conflict. You will never find "recipes" on how to conduct an attack in any maneuverist treatise because the emphasis is on a set of mind you must have on how to defeat the enemy.



quote:

Additionally, the general concepts that apply to war are ancient and in some ways unchanging. Do you ever wonder why military leaders continue to read the "art of war"? How can one argue with the concept of combined arms? Wow, if I combine and sychronize my archers and cav with my legions I can generate more combat power than with them separately. I think that is how Alexander, Julius Caeser, and other great tactical generals have won on the battlefield. Guess what? On the modern tactical battlefield you still want to do the same thing. The phrase we use is that we want to get every dog into the fight. I want to combine/ synchronzie my tanks, my infantry, my mortars, my artillery, my engineers and my air support so that the enemy will have deal with them simualtaneously.

Moltke, Lidell-Hart, Boyd or Lind didn't invent nothing new. They just gathered the elements and put them together.
Nobody argues that combined arms is a good thing. Pitty it doesn't work very well in present-day Iraq.

(in reply to Tbird3)
Post #: 147
RE: First impressions here please - 2/9/2005 3:55:22 AM   
Mike_w

 

Posts: 54
Joined: 1/30/2005
Status: offline
quote:

Moltke, Lidell-Hart, Boyd or Lind didn't invent nothing new. They just gathered the elements and put them together.
Nobody argues that combined arms is a good thing. Pitty it doesn't work very well in present-day Iraq.


Interesting discussion Chelco, although I will just say that combined arms and maneuver warfare worked extraordinarily well in Iraq when we were facing a conventional force. It simply won't work against a fluid guerilla force ( of course, you did say "present day Iraq"). Logistics, as always, was an issue.

Great post ....

(in reply to Mike_w)
Post #: 148
RE: First impressions here please - 2/9/2005 1:34:15 PM   
General Confusion


Posts: 1
Joined: 2/9/2005
From: Melbourne Australia
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Chelco

Hi Mike, I agree with you. Air/Land Battle doctrine was born after the Cold War.
As for the AI, I have seen it to do some nice things:
1) When commanding WP, it deploys in groups, each one corresponding to each battalion.
2) In AI vs AI games, I have seen it to encircle enemy forces
3) Is very aggressive (sometimes a good attack is the best defense)
However, these nice aspects are overshadowed by negatives:
a) The AI happily positions its companys in an open field which is overlooked by several hills around. A formula for disaster.
b) On the attack, it brings its firepower in a piecemeal manner. You almost can forget about the value of flanking the AI while counterattacking.
c) The AI as WP: recon assets too forward in comparison to the main force.

Cheers,


Hi I just bought this game and played the tutorials and the first British scenario - Tank Rush. Overall I like it and can see mastering the subtleties around manoevre is the key.

I won that fairly easily as the AI didnt really mass its forces very well and devoted its artillery to trying to wipe out my HQ unit. I could deal with each T-80 company one at a time.

It tried an outflank with a BMP company which was wiped off by the Striker platoon and one Challenger unit.

Think it is more fun against a human player. Overall I like it.

I used my Harriers to wipe their HQ.

(in reply to Chelco)
Post #: 149
RE: First impressions here please - 2/9/2005 1:55:54 PM   
Nemesis

 

Posts: 126
Joined: 1/11/2001
From: Järvenpää, Finland
Status: offline
I got the game few days ago (thank $DEITY for Digital Download, since I haven't seen the game available in retail). And I have played a bit. My impressions:

1. The UI is VERY intuitive! I didn't read the manual at all before I started playing.I had no problems getting aquinted with the system. I was moving and attacking in 5 mintues when the scenario started :).

2. I love the graphics! Why hasn't this type of graphics been though of before?

3. I have only played against the AI so far. I played the tutorials as NATO, and they were pretty easy to win. I'm currently playing "Soviet Alamo" as WP, and things are a bit more interesting. Now, I'm still a newbie in this game (which might explain some things), but that was a bit more challening that the tutorials :). NATO has been able to cause some damage to my units and they seriously managed to push my defences back. But, thanks to stroke of luck, I had a quite a sizeable force outside the main battle area. I managed to use that force for an effective counterattack on NATO's left flank. Their main attack is currently collapsing due to the attack on their flank, and I'm actually counterattacking them head-on. Their main force (well, I assume it's their main force) is being crushed between the anvil of my flanking-attack, and the hammer of my head-on assault. I think I'm on my way to victory, and I'm enjoying every moment of it :)! Even though it's just a game versus the AI, it would have made a good AAR. The battle has been very interesting IMO.

4. I think there could be a bit more scenarios in the game. While the scenarios will take some time to get through, more scenarios would be nice :).

All in all, I can highly recommend the game to anyone! 5/5 stars!

_____________________________

oderint dum metuant

(in reply to General Confusion)
Post #: 150
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