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How's the online for this engine? - 5/4/2009 3:07:28 AM   
Llyranor


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I know I've been asking for co-op a lot, but this time I'll actually ask about the included 1v1.

How do you find the pacing? Being PvP, it sounds like it'd probably be played at 1x with no pausing. Given order delays and such, it wouldn't be a twitch game, but I just wonder if people find it too fast to think up plans and input orders for full scenarios without the ability to pause. I'm asking because I'm a compulsive pauser.

Cheers.
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RE: How's the online for this engine? - 5/4/2009 3:14:08 AM   
Arjuna


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You can pause while online. No problems.

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RE: How's the online for this engine? - 5/4/2009 4:27:37 AM   
Llyranor


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Well, I meant more as a pacing issue, since sporadically pausing the game could certainly annoy the enemy.

Though, agreeing to systematically pause the game at x min intervals beforehand to review plans as needed would solve that problem. I guess it's not really an issue, then.

(in reply to Arjuna)
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RE: How's the online for this engine? - 5/6/2009 3:05:42 AM   
GoodGuy

 

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I used to agree with my online opponents that whoever would feel the need to pause (to give detailed orders and some thought for the masterplan) could do so. Same with turning up or down the game speed, as the game clients take over the lowest speed setting anyways (let's say one picks FF and the opponent picks normal speed, the latter will be active).

Maybe I was lucky so far, since I never ran into an "excessive pauser" . Most people I played didn't have a problem with me raising the game speed, as especially the setup/move phase (with order delay) of the attacking party can be skipped forward after all orders had been given - since almost no interaction is required after that.
Then, with hell breaking loose, both players often need time to issue orders, where normal speed is slow enough to issue additional orders usually, like setting up defenses, bombardments, etc.

Once the battles died down, we used to turn up the game speed again.

_____________________________

"Aw Nuts"
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December 22nd, 1944
Bastogne

---
"I've always felt that the AA (Alied Assault engine) had the potential to be [....] big."
Tim Stone
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RE: How's the online for this engine? - 5/6/2009 5:39:47 AM   
Prince of Eckmühl


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I find this to be a really interesting topic.

There's a natural tension between the folks who want the game to run it's course via its programmed routines, and those who want to try and micro-manage the fighting.

It's almost an "east is east/west is west" sorta thing.

That individuals would seek to exploit this to their advantage in MP, only piques the philosophical divide, IMO.

There ought to be a whole "Mark Shot sorts it all out for us" document, somewhere, hereabouts.

PoE (aka ivanmoe)

_____________________________

Government is the opiate of the masses.

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RE: How's the online for this engine? - 5/6/2009 10:49:34 AM   
GShock


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I suppose house rules would do the job here. I've never played COTA online but while i do reckon the AI is a credible opponent i have hardly ever been defeated so i surely WILL play both COTA and BOTB online.
I suppose an agreement on 5 min at double speed and 10 min at normal speed would do. Then a 5 min pause every hour would also do the trick. I think this could be arranged software-wise... i mean regardless of the house rules, an option like that would really be useful in the game. Just an idea...players set the pause/accelerate clocks and then the game begins and follows that plan.
Another option could be the timer set request... any player can change the timer on the SLOWER setting during the game but only if both players press on the accelerate the timer would move (which means the player who hits the slower again puts the clock there). In case of pause, both players need to hit it.


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RE: How's the online for this engine? - 5/6/2009 1:49:05 PM   
Arjuna


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If we had a "real time" setting ( ie one minute of real time equals one minute of game time ), then I could see an option for requiring both players to pause before pausing the game. But at the moment even the slowest is accelerated time ( ie where one minute of real time equals several minutes of game time ).

But this is something we could review for future releases. I'd be interested to hear what you all think on this subject.

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www.panthergames.com

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RE: How's the online for this engine? - 5/6/2009 6:52:01 PM   
06 Maestro


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quote:

ORIGINAL: GShock
Another option could be the timer set request... any player can change the timer on the SLOWER setting during the game but only if both players press on the accelerate the timer would move (which means the player who hits the slower again puts the clock there). In case of pause, both players need to hit it.


Thats how it works now except for the pause.

I suppose if it is the first game with a new opponent, it would be a good idea to discuss pausing and game speed, but it really dose not seem that big of a deal. I have played a good number of MP games (should be resuming one in a few hours) and have never had a problem with an opponent abusing pausing. In a 2 hour sitting I might pause one time for a minute or two-that's about what I get from my opponents. Upon resumption of a saved game we agree to take as much time as necessary to re familiarize with he situation-this can take 5 or ten minutes-then its show time.

Discussing game speed before a game may be more beneficial to the players. As the saying goes; "beauty is in the eye of the beholder". Some players like to let the game roll at one speed, slow fast or medium. During an MP game my preference is to use slow or medium during the day and fast at night.

Arragements for pausing should be easy enough for playerto set up-perhaps even in the initial posting for an "opponent wanted". I do not see a need for a programing change to have both player select pause to have it function. An unscrupolus player could still abuse that option-I can see it now; "I need to stop/pause-just for a minute-I need to give orders-my front is crumbling-please pause"///other player-" I don't see those messages-this is great! Up YOURS!"

Either way you go you need to have some faith in your opponent being a "team player". If one does not suit your style-just make a note.

< Message edited by 06 Maestro -- 5/7/2009 4:31:59 PM >


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RE: How's the online for this engine? - 5/8/2009 8:33:25 AM   
MarkShot


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Prince of Eckmühl

I find this to be a really interesting topic.

There's a natural tension between the folks who want the game to run it's course via its programmed routines, and those who want to try and micro-manage the fighting.

It's almost an "east is east/west is west" sorta thing.

That individuals would seek to exploit this to their advantage in MP, only piques the philosophical divide, IMO.

There ought to be a whole "Mark Shot sorts it all out for us" document, somewhere, hereabouts.

PoE (aka ivanmoe)


{It seems that someone has requested one of those often verbose MarkShot analysis. Please forgive me if this is little scattered brain. It's 3am and I have some insomnia. So, I may be awake and writing groggy or I make be asleep and writing in a dream state.}

Howdy Rod (aka PoE),

I only played one RDOA online game long before I had any idea how to play the game at all. That was against our resident expert, Yakstock, (Gary Stockbridge). I haven't seen him around for quite a while.

Myself, I am strictly Man vs AI. That was one of the reasons that I am so impressed by this engine. It is capable of putting up a good fight on both the attack and the defense. Also, it does this primarily due to a lot of smarts in the code as opposed to a lot of custom work by the designer. For example, take the CM series. You have some really fantastic custom scenarios to be played by the attacker. However, these require superb crafting of terrain (cover & LOS), precise placement of defenses such as ATGs, and expert timing and appearance of reinforcements. The CmdOps engine requires VL selection and point balancing, but I believe the scenario designers does this more to achieve proper point scoring than forcing behavior. (Of course, I could be totally wrong, since I never designed a scenario. However, I have read the manual and played lots of scenarios.)

Now, you raise the point of the push pull struggle between micro-management and macro-management.

It is here that one encounters the pure genious design feature that makes for a natural sweet spot.

The engine has a very sophisticated (but not complex for the player) implementation of order delays. Of course, this simulates the friction of command and makes time as critical of a dimension of battle as the X,Y,Z coordinates of the map.

But it also achieves another very important purpose within the game system. If you had no order delays, then expert micro-management would always give superior results (note the emphasis on the word "expert"). You could force the cohesion of an attack by pacing units at the tip of the spear ... you could protect an exposed flank that was being hit by a spoiling attack ... But when you add order delays into the system, then you reach a point where the cost benefit analysis of no longer favors more micromanagement. With each unit the player takes control of, the over all delays add up. Thus, a player who seeks extreme micromanagement could take orders which would experience an 8 hour delay and drive that delay up to 24 hours or worse. Effectively, the excessive micromanagement would totally cripple the player against either the AI or a human opponent.

So, in theory the expert micro-manager should always win and this would become an exploit which would totally negate the who hiearchical AI structure of the game. However, the brilliance of the system is that order delays prevents the pervesion of the game system. It incentivizes the player to find the sweet spot and balance that provides for the fastest response concurrent with the most appropriate actions. So, not only do order delays simulate reality, but they force the player to use the system as intended as opposed to open an exploit which you could drive a truck through.

In reality, the penalty of excessive micromanagement is far greater than just simply the order delays as that is the most obvious and immediate issue. Excessive micromanagement will also result in an endless string of replans. Effectively, any unit which was part of a force will cause replans which is basically pulling the rug out from underneath an ongoing task.

So, the player whether going H2H or against the AI is looking for that sweet spot. Simply commanding at too high a level (despite the design of the game system) may also yield less than optimal results. (I believe one of the standard scenario tests that Eddy used to perform is to give orders at the very highest level. If the AI, simply wins the scenario on its own, then the scenario design was defficient in the sense it required no serious planning by the player.)

Since we have looked at what happens with excessive micromanagement (total paralysis and disorganization) ... let's ask what might happen if you attempt to macro-manage too much? (Yes, it is possible to do so. This is why I dissaggree with those who say this a "spectator sport" game. They have this impression, since they don't understand the system well enough.)

(1) You may not have sufficient task forces to allocate to the respective objectives.

(2) By not breaking up your forces in an appropriate and balanced manner, you may later discover despite objectives that due to situations on the ground, you will need to mount a defense somewhere or break a road block, etc ... Having failed to have some discrete task forces already created, you are going to have to break up an existing force and force a dreaded replan. If that force was attacking, well than you could have delayed the whole attack or worse jeapordized an attack in progress. If that force was defending, you will force units to redeploy and forfeit their prepared positions.

(3) From our discussion above, it seem intuitive that micro-management tends towards reducing responsiveness. Well, not necessarily. Remember large forces inherently have large delays. So, if you want a big over powering multi-axis attack, then use a division. On the other hand, that could take a day to get organized. While all that is going on the enemy is busy diggin in, bringing up his guns, probing your FUPs and disrupting you. You may well have lost initiative. Instead a number of smaller actions done at the brigade level may be quicker. Now, instead of 24 hours maybe you are looking at 8-10 hours. Perhaps, you grab the high ground over looking a river and a key bridge before the enemy does.

(4) When looking to conduct recon in order to plan further operations or to ensure that an ongoing operation is not going to meet some surprises, time is of the essense. The shortest delay will always be that of a single unit like armored car squadron or a squadron of light armor. Additionally, a single unit won't perform overwatch and move by bounds. So, besides having a shorter delay, it will travel much faster. So, there are many instances where micro-managing is not actually going to make your overall performance lag the enemy. The example I just gave with fast recon could equally apply to quickly setting up road blocks.

(5) If you macro-manage completely, the AI will handle your guns. I much prefer to handle them myself. (Yes, I do know that the fire base concept was not WWII doctrine, but that's the way I play.) Your guns represent a large portion of your fire power. Now, the AI will hold the guns in the rear to cover a movement and will have them step up. But my experience is that only the player can see the big picture multi-day plan. In that multi-day plan, you'll probably want 2-4 fire bases (I tend to move my guns at night, since I won't be doing much shooting then.) Picking those 2-4 fire base locations is something you can do much better than the AI will do automatically for you when you tie those guns to a force. Additionally, the only way you can be sure is that you will have fire support when you need it is by having those guns under your direct command. Otherwise, the AI may chose to redeploy them at an inconvenient time.

NOTE: Micro-management overhead does not kick in immediately. You are allowed a certain degree of micro-management without penalty (based on the HQs involved). So, there is no reason not to take advantage of this HQ staff capability if you need it. And sometimes even if you do mildly overload an HQ, the reward my well justify the delay.)

---

Well, there you have it. A discussion of micro versus macro management. I managed to hit on the game system, game play, and actual tactics. I hope you PG philosophers have something to ponder. If you ever meet Yakstock for an online battle, none of this going save you from humiliation.

---

I saw in another thread someone saying "it's quiet". Don't worry this BFTB is not going to be another CMC. They're all just busy working hard on testing/coding. As has always been the case, the only thing on the market which could best an RDOA/HTTR/COTA is the next game by PG. It's no accident that there is such a long gap between games. Dave literally packs these things with new features and a ton of improvements under the hood that the average player is unaware of unless he/she is military analyst or were one of the beta team.

Take care, all.

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RE: How's the online for this engine? - 5/8/2009 9:19:41 AM   
RayWolfe

 

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You don't pop up often, but when you do, it is worth the wait. Thanks Mark for your rare pearls.
........ and, don't forget: "Keep y p u"
Best wishes
Ray

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RE: How's the online for this engine? - 5/8/2009 9:35:14 AM   
MarkShot


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Hey, Ray, long time ...

I miss you and Eddy together. PG is far too mentally stable for my tastes these days! :)

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RE: How's the online for this engine? - 5/8/2009 3:57:53 PM   
Prince of Eckmühl


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Hi Mark,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Your insights into the flow of the game are always helpful when it comes to understanding why things turn out the way that they do. Figuring all this stuff out by trial and error is simply too humbling!

I've been playing CotA a lot lately. It's "last years game," I know, but it includes estabs for the MTO 1940-41, so I can do a lot with it. Basically, everything in my North Africa scenarios is motorized, excepting the units that man strongpoints. There are a lot of armoured cars and light tanks careening about. It's fun, but it's also a little nerve-wracking.

My "Western Desert creations" have no orders delay, but are really intended to be played without pausing. It's possible to micro-manage a few corners of the battlefield, but certainly not the whole thing. There's simply too much to do played real-time. The game runs fast/quickly on my system, BTW, even when set to slow, but it (the computer) is likely more muscular than what most of our readers are using.

Why give into the urge to micro-manage? Well, there are a handful of "special" units in the game, the Flak 36, the Matilda II and assorted artillery. These are analagous to the old rock-paper-scissors game. Nothing can stop a Matilda squadron, excepting an 88 battery, but the guns can be silenced by 25-pounders and air-strikes. If a side loses the ability to counter one of these types, that again are VERY limited in number, they are probably going to lose the game.

So, at some critical location on the battlefield, all of this comes together. At that point, I want to be able to take local control of the fighting, as Rommel might to have done. Meanwhile, I allow the AI to manage the rest of the game. And if I lose the fight where the AFV and anti-tank guns finally meet, then I certainly can't blame my failure on the AI!

Thanks again!


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RE: How's the online for this engine? - 5/8/2009 5:05:18 PM   
MarkShot


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Nice running into you again, Rod!

So, in a way, you have sort of recast your role as a local subordinated role similar to what Adam did with the TC series? Interesting.

Although the games had independent births, the similarity of hiearchical RT command was quite striking. However, the big difference is that with PG you are always the senior commander and MMG you could be senior or subordinated to the AI. I always liked the possibilities the latter opened up.

---

Myself, I tend to micro-manage: recon, road blocks, screens, some heavy weapons, arty, ... oh yes, anything involving the defense or assault of a bridge. Despite that you cannot command a bridge to be blown, I can achieve an 80% success rate using an advance blocking force, pulling it out at night, and creating an artificial reverse slope situation using night time LOS. :)

Also, I am more likely to micro-manage in terrain which is largely open with only a few good defensive positions. I tend to find when defending and macro-managing that the AI is more oriented towards satisfying your footprint/facing/formation parameters than picking the very best terrain. (Although I do know that Dave has code included to identify key features ... maybe I am just a picky person.)

If the terrain is fairly homogeneous or I am simply trying to defend in depth, I'll do lines of various density and let the AI handle it. Also, if you don't know from where the main attack will be coming, you are often better macro-managing a defense. The AI will response to a large enemy force concentration. It will do that much more quickly despite some delays versus the playing observing that and issuing new orders.

_____________________________

Never more! (I've had enough. Sliterine has raised mediocrity to an art form!)

(in reply to Prince of Eckmühl)
Post #: 13
RE: How's the online for this engine? - 5/9/2009 3:10:39 PM   
Prince of Eckmühl


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quote:

ORIGINAL: MarkShot

Nice running into you again, Rod!


Likewise.

quote:

So, in a way, you have sort of recast your role as a local subordinated role similar to what Adam did with the TC series? Interesting.


I have to say that I consider the Airborne Assault engine superior in this regard. I don't know if you remember, but the TC engine treated a friendly Bde or Rgt that was detached as though it didn't exist. You could setup your unit to defend or attack, and the friendly AI would come traipsing straight through your positions! The friendly AI also wouldn't do a thing to support such a friendly Bde.

Of course, there were folks who didn't TC anything, and loved to play the game that way. Ray Rivers was just such a person. He loved "Open Play" and hated it when the game was coded such that micro-management was enhanced at the expense of OP. ("Lava," should you read the above, and I've wrongly characterized your beliefs in this regard, let me extend an apology in advance.)

quote:

Although the games had independent births, the similarity of hiearchical RT command was quite striking. However, the big difference is that with PG you are always the senior commander and MMG you could be senior or subordinated to the AI. I always liked the possibilities the latter opened up.


I tended to play the MMG game at Bde and Btty level, "Taking Command" of all of them, and placing them relative to one another in such a way that the Bde/Btty AI could take care of itself, at least in part. At critical points in the battle, I would "TC" individual regiments in order to mine points (as that was the only way to run-up enough points to advance/win (in) the campaign).

We're almost off-topic, though, as this is a multiplay thread, and the MMG game didn't have MP.

quote:

Myself, I tend to micro-manage: recon, road blocks, screens, some heavy weapons, arty, ... oh yes, anything involving the defense or assault of a bridge. Despite that you cannot command a bridge to be blown, I can achieve an 80% success rate using an advance blocking force, pulling it out at night, and creating an artificial reverse slope situation using night time LOS. :)

Also, I am more likely to micro-manage in terrain which is largely open with only a few good defensive positions. I tend to find when defending and macro-managing that the AI is more oriented towards satisfying your footprint/facing/formation parameters than picking the very best terrain. (Although I do know that Dave has code included to identify key features ... maybe I am just a picky person.)

If the terrain is fairly homogeneous or I am simply trying to defend in depth, I'll do lines of various density and let the AI handle it. Also, if you don't know from where the main attack will be coming, you are often better macro-managing a defense. The AI will response to a large enemy force concentration. It will do that much more quickly despite some delays versus the playing observing that and issuing new orders.


The Airborne Assault routines really are something, aren't they?

Occasionally, I'll find myself wanting to scream because some aspect of a battle isn't working out the way that I think that it should. Recently, I've found myself unhappy with the performance of German anti-tank guns. They can be very effective, but in many situations, simply aren't. However, when you look at what's going on the game, it's so complex that it's hard to provide substantive criticism of those sort of interactions. Further, I find myself wondering if my anti-tank guns malaise is a product of my having arrogantly deigned to take control of them, darned if I do, and darned if I don't!

Anyway, it's all great fun. As always, I enjoy reading your comments, and am genuinely grateful for your efforts to document the the ins and outs of these jewels from Panther Games.

Take care!


_____________________________

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Post #: 14
RE: How's the online for this engine? - 5/11/2009 11:27:49 PM   
GoodGuy

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: MarkShot

The CmdOps engine requires VL selection and point balancing, but I believe the scenario designers does this more to achieve proper point scoring than forcing behavior. (Of course, I could be totally wrong, since I never designed a scenario. However, I have read the manual and played lots of scenarios.)

I hate to disagree there, especially since your posts are often lengthy and really well-thought, and well-defined. But I think it's a bit different. If the AA (or CmdOps, if you will) engine wouldn't have the VL points, the game wouldn't just loose its base for the scoring system, but the (enemy) AI would end up "hanging" in the air as well, like we say, means it wouldn't have a base for its decision process where to commit troops or where to defend.

Given, except for Dave's rare snippets demonstrating one or another AI behaviour (i.e. unit facing and formation/disposition when commencing an attack), and maybe except for one or another posting where you tried to explain (or guess, sometimes) what might be going on under the hood, I don't know much about AA's innerds, code-wise. But I've tinkered with scenario design, so I'd say the AI wouldn't be able to defend a strip of let's say 30-40 km of "Hell's Highway" in Holland, like marching and counter-marching the road up and down, as it just happened 1944, if the designer doesn't arrange for this particular effect - by using a proper chain of Objective- and VictoryLocation-spots.
So, in my books, and despite the excellent AI in CmdOps, the VL points/objectives are forcing the behaviour very well, in many ways.
I saw this in my Cologne scenario (depicting an imaginary final fight for Cologne and the bridges across the Rhein in 1945) when the scenario's last 2 days ended up with creating a kind of anti-climax, as I set the VLs/Objectives in a way that the German AI would pull back to the right side of the river, consolidating its forces and waiting for the inevitable Allied para landings. Improper usage / allocation of these points will ultimately transform a good map into a scenario that won't put up a challenge in single player mode.

Writing this just created an idea in my head:

Is it possible to let the designer create Objectives/VLs as a line (he could draw) in the ScenarioMaker? Like a polygon line...pretty much like drawing a terrain layer: The designer could then draw jagged lines, elliptic lines, bulges, etc., he could even simulate troops that dug in (trenches), using staggered or jagged defensive positions / light fortifications. This would serve well for scenarios in Russia (i.e. where the Germans tried to cut the bulge at Kursk in 1943).

Dave, is that possible (maybe for the next installment? )?


quote:

If you had no order delays, then expert micro-management would always give superior results (note the emphasis on the word "expert"). You could force the cohesion of an attack by pacing units at the tip of the spear ... you could protect an exposed flank that was being hit by a spoiling attack ... But when you add order delays into the system, then you reach a point where the cost benefit analysis of no longer favors more micromanagement. ..... [] Effectively, the excessive micromanagement would totally cripple the player against either the AI or a human opponent.

quote:

So, in theory the expert micro-manager should always win and this would become an exploit which would totally negate the who hiearchical AI structure of the game. However, the brilliance of the system is that order delays prevents the pervesion of the game system.

I gotta tell you that micromanagement still is superior, and it still works even with max order delay, if you arrange for expected/unexpected events beforehand:

Let's say you detach a couple of companies (not neccessarily from the Bn or Rgt you want to commit to the planned attack), where you then issue the attack order to the Bn/Rgt scheduled to be the main body for the operation. Then, once you see that let's say the left flank of your main body ran into (unexpected) trouble (i.e. additional troops that couldn't be spotted beforehand, or troops that are stronger than expected), you can then send in these single companies (let's call em "special purpose"-companies) to stabilize the left flank. This all works even with max order delay, the player just has to know (an "amateur" might just not know it) that micro-management should not be applied to big/bigger units whose HQs have already planned and implemented the player's orders, as this would result in the HQ halting its troops and replanning the attack ... with an additional order delay, just as you described.

So, micro-management (with order-delay enabled) should only be applied to independent bodies: i.e. single companies or "bundled"/"grouped" companies (max. 2, to reduce command load) . That's the rule of thumb here.
The time frame for the decision/planning process may be the same, but the actual implementation for such units is faster - as less or even no sub-units units are involved.

What I just described is pretty much a man-made reserve pool, but, with the current limited AI capabilities regarding building/commitment of reserves, it would be desirable if the AI would be able to create (and commence) a dedicated reserve group.

Anyway, that said, micromanagement still works, and can be decisive in situations where either a human opponent or the AI may stick to initially issued orders, in order not to disturb / destroy the development of an attack.

But this is where I wish that there would be a variable order-delay. Once we go up in the command chain, it's surely realistic if an attack order, developed on the Korps level, will take it's time to make its way down the ranks, as historically

  • 1) an objective had to be discussed,
  • 2) possible outcomes, benefits and disadvantages had to be envisioned,
  • 3) after the order (to develop a plan) had been issued, the Supreme HQ had to take all parameters into account:

    Terrain, weather conditions, enemy strength, strength and supply situation of friendly troops, available resources (manpower, supplies - ammunition / fuel / food / amount of equipment/vehicles, transport), axis of attack, recon/intel data, level of confidentiality, plans for inclusion of occupation forces and military administration), general logistics, protection of extended supply lines,
  • 4) once the plan had been approved, the Supreme HQ had to reserve/allocate resources and pass the plan down the ranks, where lower ranks often just knew the details affecting their particular units (i.e. company), to keep a certain level of secrecy,
  • 5) then, prior to the attack, while the Rgt HQs coordinated the supply efforts, the Bn and Coy HQs then had to evaluate and report their status, and raise their hands in case equipment/replacements turned out to be insufficient for the scheduled attack.


That said, order delay makes sense, and even with just a few hours game time it's still realistic: Rommel had to develop and implement an attack plan (I think after Kasserine Pass?) within 2 days, for example, a plan that incorporated 3 units (almost 3 divisions, Italian Division, German Panzer Division, and Infantry), where he aimed at throwing out and pursuing the American units. Rommel couldn't convince his German superior to approve his initial plan, so he tried to bypass him by contacting the Italian High Command, which agreed to a revised plan that envisaged a different axis of attack, though. He then had to replan the whole operation within 2 days, as speed was essential, giving the US units time to regroup and dig in, though.

But in general, the German doctrine gave German officers quite some room for improvisation, as, in most cases, they were relatively free to pick the axis of attack, and type of approach, if they received an order to take an objective. This applied even to company commanders. So, if a company commander figured that the opposing unit decided to leg it, he would have diverted a part of his force (or even the entire unit) to pursue the enemy, in order to avoid that the unit got a chance to regroup. Taking them out of the battle, either by destroying the particular enemy unit or by capturing its members, was often essential. On a bigger scale, the numerous battles of encirclement and annihilation (Russia, France) aimed for the very same thing described above.

Ok that's where my idea of the variable order delay kicks in (which i expressed in the COTA forum around 2 or 3 years ago, i think): A company should be able to

  • a) step out of the line without disturbing/interrupting the current attack carried out by the superior unit
  • b) pursue a given enemy unit without any order delay, as "hunting"/pursuing an enemy won't take a sophisticated plan, as it's just running after an enemy who's routing,
  • c) to withdraw way faster than currently (COTA) possible, as - once the player figures that a given unit won't be able to withstand another attack - the unit in question won't disengage, even if it's set to the lowest aggro/fire rate settings... usually, such a unit will retreat in no time, with the player being unable to save/control this particular unit. Somewhat frustrating. It often feels pretty much like the unit would take 10 minutes to "prepare" the run, with the enemy making it route or retreat within the next 8 or 9 mins. In real life, once a commander issued a "drop everything and move"-order, you bet that the soldiers actually did it without even thinking about it, maybe with the commander issuing an order to keep up a tiny group of rear-guards, covering the withdrawal. The CmdOps engine kinda won't allow for an orderly withdrawal, currently.


quote:

In reality, the penalty of excessive micromanagement is far greater than just simply the order delays as that is the most obvious and immediate issue. Excessive micromanagement will also result in an endless string of replans.

In WW2, micro-management performed by able commanders would have changed the outcome of those battles where local commanders acted faint-hearted or indetermined. In turn, micro-management in some battles, i.e. the Ardennes offensive, where the German High Command drew routes that had to be followed, even sometimes down to company level, hampered improvisation and timely local successes. For instance, there were empty villages (means possible bypass-routes) undetected by the Germans, which were only taken into consideration as alternative route (after 2 days) once patrols (on foot) had been sent out to recon the area, after the scheduled route appeared to be defended by US units, and all this was caused by a Bn commander who didn't dare or consider to deviate from the original plan.
It's not just black + white when it comes to micro-management, imho.

Take care Mark.

< Message edited by GoodGuy -- 5/12/2009 12:54:43 AM >


_____________________________

"Aw Nuts"
General Anthony McAuliffe
December 22nd, 1944
Bastogne

---
"I've always felt that the AA (Alied Assault engine) had the potential to be [....] big."
Tim Stone
8th of August, 2006

(in reply to MarkShot)
Post #: 15
RE: How's the online for this engine? - 5/12/2009 1:09:35 AM   
Arjuna


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Re Reserves. I agree that it's essential to maintain a reserve. Committing your entire force in big groups ( eg Bde+ ) means that to respond to some unforseen development you will have to do a replan and delay the original task. The AI does maintain a reserve for attacks but there is currently no way of committing that reserve except during a replan. In fact one of my pet items on the wish list is to write code that would commit units from the attack reserve. It's pretty well near the
top of the list but I don't think it's going to make it for BFTB.

_____________________________

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www.panthergames.com

(in reply to GoodGuy)
Post #: 16
RE: How's the online for this engine? - 5/12/2009 2:18:58 AM   
MarkShot


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Goodguy,

A very interesting discussion which I most certainly would like to continue. On the other hand, I got BFTB in my hands. :) So, sorry but it is going to be very hard to get me away from the game. Maybe after release we can pick this up again. Great running into you again ... I think you've been with us since HTTR, nicht wahr?

Take care.

_____________________________

Never more! (I've had enough. Sliterine has raised mediocrity to an art form!)

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Post #: 17
RE: How's the online for this engine? - 5/12/2009 2:54:52 AM   
06 Maestro


Posts: 3988
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From: Nevada, USA
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quote:

ORIGINAL: MarkShot

Goodguy,

On the other hand, I got BFTB in my hands. :) So, sorry but it is going to be very hard to get me away from the game.
Take care.


Excellent!

So, are you considering an AAR?

Edit: Never mind-I just noticed your thread at the top of the forum. I'm looking forward to reading your new work.

< Message edited by 06 Maestro -- 5/12/2009 2:57:37 AM >


_____________________________

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Post #: 18
RE: How's the online for this engine? - 5/12/2009 2:58:33 AM   
MarkShot


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I committed to do one, but I am going through the new features first. Unlike before I have not been following development continuously since the prior game. I would not do an AAR justice simply playing it as if it was COTA.

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Post #: 19
RE: How's the online for this engine? - 5/12/2009 3:09:15 AM   
GoodGuy

 

Posts: 1506
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From: Cologne, Germany
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quote:

ORIGINAL: MarkShot

A very interesting discussion which I most certainly would like to continue...[] Maybe after release we can pick this up again.

I'm looking forward to your input.
quote:

Great running into you again
Likewise

quote:

I think you've been with us since HTTR, nicht wahr?

Jawohl! That's correct.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Arjuna

Re Reserves. I agree that it's essential to maintain a reserve. [].... In fact one of my pet items on the wish list is to write code that would commit units from the attack reserve.

Great! Umm... what about my idea regarding the (form of) Objectives/Victory locations? Getting at least rectangular/elliptic objects (with adjustabe height/width) in addition to the existing circles (in the SM) would already display a great improvement for scenario designers.


< Message edited by GoodGuy -- 5/12/2009 3:13:41 AM >


_____________________________

"Aw Nuts"
General Anthony McAuliffe
December 22nd, 1944
Bastogne

---
"I've always felt that the AA (Alied Assault engine) had the potential to be [....] big."
Tim Stone
8th of August, 2006

(in reply to Arjuna)
Post #: 20
RE: How's the online for this engine? - 5/12/2009 8:08:05 AM   
Arjuna


Posts: 17785
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From: Canberra, Australia
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Re Side Objective Locations. A good idea but there is a lot more that needs to be done than just changing the UI so you can draw a shape or line. The AI has to be able to do respond in a meaningful manner and this will take work to achieve. Changing from a location with a radius, which effectively gives us circles, to elipses and rectangles is pretty straight forward. Changing to a free-form polygon or to a line is another matter altogether. It's not impossible but it would mean overhauling a lot of code that relies on the locations. I'd rather be first addressing things like minefields, mounted/dismounted infantry, off-map fire support etc.

_____________________________

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www.panthergames.com

(in reply to GoodGuy)
Post #: 21
RE: How's the online for this engine? - 5/12/2009 12:00:39 PM   
sterckxe


Posts: 4605
Joined: 3/30/2004
From: Flanders
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quote:

ORIGINAL: MarkShot
Hey, Ray, long time ...

I miss you and Eddy together. PG is far too mentally stable for my tastes these days! :)


They don't let me post too often from the looney bin aka "work", but I'm still around.

Great to see you started a BFTB AAR - looking forward to reading it.

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx

(in reply to MarkShot)
Post #: 22
RE: How's the online for this engine? - 5/12/2009 1:59:16 PM   
Arjuna


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You better look out Eddy - that overseer with the lash is coming back real soon.

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www.panthergames.com

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Post #: 23
RE: How's the online for this engine? - 5/12/2009 8:51:41 PM   
GoodGuy

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Arjuna

Changing from a location with a radius, which effectively gives us circles, to elipses and rectangles is pretty straight forward.

"Straight forward" means easier to implement?
If so, community designers would really appreciate/enjoy such an "interim-solution", I am absolutely sure. I knew that the polygon version I had in mind is hard to implement, though, so I suggested elipses and rectangles (with adjustable width/height -> via values). So, would that be possible?
I mean, I suspect that you see adding of SM features as less important, as you may think that it'd be just a tool used by very few people, but I think adding things like these either help to get more people interested in creating scenarios or help current designers to come up with more or more sophisticated scenarios.

Anyway, I just threw in my original polygon idea as well, as reference for improvements in the future (umm maybe very far future).


< Message edited by GoodGuy -- 5/12/2009 9:00:16 PM >


_____________________________

"Aw Nuts"
General Anthony McAuliffe
December 22nd, 1944
Bastogne

---
"I've always felt that the AA (Alied Assault engine) had the potential to be [....] big."
Tim Stone
8th of August, 2006

(in reply to Arjuna)
Post #: 24
RE: How's the online for this engine? - 5/13/2009 1:48:28 AM   
Arjuna


Posts: 17785
Joined: 3/31/2003
From: Canberra, Australia
Status: offline
GoodGuy,

Understood and appreciated.

BTW if we allow the setting of rectangular and eliptical objective areas in the SM then we also need to support that in the Game, both in terms of providing a UI so the player can have his forces defend the same area as the objective requires but also getting the AI to do that as well. So it's not as simple as just adding it to the SM.

This is too big to squeeze into BFTB. But I've added it to the list for the next title.

TT3801 - UI - AI - SM - Allow for Rectangular and Eliptical Objective Areas

< Message edited by Arjuna -- 5/14/2009 12:13:07 AM >


_____________________________

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www.panthergames.com

(in reply to GoodGuy)
Post #: 25
RE: How's the online for this engine? - 5/13/2009 7:38:49 PM   
GoodGuy

 

Posts: 1506
Joined: 5/17/2006
From: Cologne, Germany
Status: offline
Thank you Sir!

_____________________________

"Aw Nuts"
General Anthony McAuliffe
December 22nd, 1944
Bastogne

---
"I've always felt that the AA (Alied Assault engine) had the potential to be [....] big."
Tim Stone
8th of August, 2006

(in reply to Arjuna)
Post #: 26
RE: How's the online for this engine? - 7/10/2009 2:21:10 AM   
JayTac

 

Posts: 26
Joined: 7/8/2009
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The amount of pauses should be limited, that's a must IMO, along with a pause timer.

Will there actually be online servers though, or just IP connect? For the price we must have more than just an IP connect.

(in reply to GoodGuy)
Post #: 27
RE: How's the online for this engine? - 7/10/2009 6:48:48 AM   
06 Maestro


Posts: 3988
Joined: 10/12/2005
From: Nevada, USA
Status: offline
Hi JayTac

quote:

ORIGINAL: JayTac
The amount of pauses should be limited, that's a must IMO, along with a pause timer.



I've never had a problem with pauses being abused. There is an in game chat, so if someone wants to stop to take a screen shot, reorganize, or take a nature break it is no big deal to inform your opponent. From my experience, pausing for getting a grip on whats happening with your forces during IP play is rare. Playing against a human I (and my opponents) use either slow or medium speed. Only during periods of low activity is it put on high speed. I doubt that you would ever find an opponent that pauses and leaves you hanging. The larger scenarios of CotA can take 10 hours or more to complete. BftB is going to have some that are even longer/bigger. From my experience that time would be split into several different game days. You can still easily have sittings of over 2 hours-to take a five minute break a couple of times is a good thing. Its good fun to be able to simulate the battlefield the way these games do, but there is no point in denying yourself a cup of coffee and cookies in the middle of a battle-winning or loosing.
Anyway, if you and your opponent spend a few minutes before play to come to an agreement about pausing, you will not have any problem.

And welcome to the forum.

quote:


Will there actually be online servers though, or just IP connect? For the price we must have more than just an IP connect.


The IP connect actually works quite well. The first connection can be a little bit of a chore, but after that (generally) its a breeze. Actually, the problem I had 2 times was in finding and matching the correct game files with my opponent. That was my fault-or his fault-a server really would not help in that situation.

Just this evening I saw a link at Armchair General for a gaming site that has a meeting room for CotA players-and a whole lot of other games. Its called X Fire. I'm going to look into that. Currently I use Hamachi for game connections-its free and works great. There are apparently many gamers who like the X Fire setup too.


< Message edited by 06 Maestro -- 7/10/2009 6:50:12 AM >


_____________________________

Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.

Thomas Jefferson


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Post #: 28
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