ORIGINAL: Prince of Eckmühl
This is one of the details of AA that makes me wonder what's going on "under the hood" of the game. What's a little scary is that Markshot doesn't completely understand it!
I use that command to try and coax units into focusing their fire on units that I particularly want to destroy. However, I notice that units which I take control of with a FIRE command will often still fire at targets other than the one which I have targeted. Other times, they do nothing at all.
However, what REALLY undermines FIRE as a game command/function is the ability of a target unit to move out from under it. This may just be a matter of the red tracer graphic not updating to the location of where the unit has moved, but it really appears as though units continue to FIRE at what's now a vacated space, as can similarly occur with INDIRECT FIRE.
And this is yet another example of why I'm not sure about micro-managing units. Apart from placing units, perhaps even individually, in the right place at the right time, I'm not sure that attempting to override some of these game functions actually works. The obvious exception to my diffidence in this regard are massed-artillery barrages that can cause key enemy units to surrender without an enemy in sight.
Darned if I don't feel as though the more that I learn about these games, the less that I know!
PoE (aka ivanmoe)
I am quoting a comment made by PoE outside of this thread. As the response is instructive.
(1) Unlike other wargames which allow for command directed at enemy units, every CmdOps order is make relative to a location. So, the AI (your subordinates) will perfectly happily Attack an unoccuppied village if so ordered to do so. I am not qualified to speak to whether such formulation of orders was standard practice for WWII. However, it is my guess that at the level of the units on the map, locations were key. At the higher level of a general's intent, plans were made with regards to specific enemy forces, but to the grunts on the ground it was just a hill. (In CmdOps you are playing at the intent level, and your subordinates are playing at the ground level.)
(2) So, the [F]ire command is no different than any other command. As I understand, [F]ire does more damage when you do have LOS to another unit and is more like area fire when you don't. However, you must have LOS to [F]ire as it is direct fire.
(3) I only see a couple of uses for it although I have never tried.
(3a) Suppose I believe (I know) that a given enemy unit is an HQ despite what the game is telling me. As we know, HQ units are critical. If you can wack an HQ unit to rout (panic), then you have crippled it and everything below it. How could I know this if the game tells me something else? Well, it has to do with the engine's FOW modeling. The engine does not really hold onto and track IDed units. Thus, they can dissappear and then reappear as something else. One of our Betas, Bil, who was formerly a SIGINT officer has raised some issue with this; basically that once you have an enemy unit IDed, you are unlikely to lose that ID. So, you may as the player know that you are looking at an HQ that got caught out of position and want to concentrate fire upon it.
(3b) You may be aware of units which you cannot see, but are in range of heavy weapons. An example this might be garrison units that will be fortified. As such, they will also be immobile. Now, usually in a bridge scenario, I will take some screen shots and make note of where those garrison units (coordinates) are. The FOW system will time out their IDs, but since they are immobile, you can be sure that they will be there when you go to take that bridge. Normally, I bombard these units prior to the assault, but I imagine you might try to apply long range direct fire.
(4) There is much I haven't used in this game. It is far deeper than the level at which I play. I am sure if I played human players, I would probably improve my skill level. This is why I say that a good plan is worth a million knobs and buttons. No knobs or buttons will save you from carelessly approaching a key bridge and having it blown out from underneath you. This game punishes stupidity more than it rewards widget wizardry.
(5) Remember that the FOW systems keeps you from having perfect knowledge where the enemy is. Have you ever noticed how sometimes current contacts appear to move at warp speed? Well, I believe this due to the fact even though current, the exact location wasn't 100% fixed and you are watching an update. The FOW system in this game is pretty good.
(5a) I use the various levels of FOW ... Current for immediate assesment and the other two for accessing trends. For example, Current tells where the enemy is attacking, but Recent and All tells you where he is going and massing.