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Oh the frustration... - 6/13/2010 12:40:38 AM   
wodin


Posts: 10526
Joined: 4/20/2003
From: England
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So far I've played three scenarios...one major win...one minor (god knows how Skornzey got hammered by Arty) and one draw....

I've had this problem since HTTR...I load up a scenario and sit and think....I try my hardest to work out a plan...now with the smaller scenarios I'm not to bad but with the larger ones I really struggle....it's always the same thing aswell....the start....how far should I set those initial attack orders, and it's trying to work out the time schedule and distance and which units should be sent where...reading the briefing helps to a point but I need more guidance....the briefings for some user made scenarios for CMSF are superb...they tell you what units you should be using in what particular direction and breakdown the Objective into time and order. At the moment you have to keep checking the Obj start and end dates and try and work out when your expected to get there.

So a new feature would be an extended briefing screen...one that really guides you on what is expected during the battle.

I'm going to read some more AAR's I think. I also think a new tutorial video showing a big battle from start to finish with commentary would be very handy indeed. To just watch someone who knows what there doing would give some real insight in how to plan a large scenario.

Oh by the way this isn't a knock to the game...it's more my incompetance and in a way it just shows how indepth the game is...



< Message edited by wodin -- 6/13/2010 12:42:14 AM >


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RE: Oh the frustration... - 6/13/2010 1:04:11 AM   
jomni


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Yeah, a mission briefing more in line with military standards should be done.  It adds to the immersion.

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RE: Oh the frustration... - 6/13/2010 1:12:55 AM   
wodin


Posts: 10526
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From: England
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I've booted up about four other scenarios so far and even though I enjoyed checking out what was under my command and trying to formualet a plan I ended up closing down because I was to unsure on what to do at first...maybe Im being chicken and should grab the bull by the horns and get on with it...

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RE: Oh the frustration... - 6/13/2010 1:15:33 AM   
wodin


Posts: 10526
Joined: 4/20/2003
From: England
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Book reading I think is required...I read more about the east front so I'm not sure on the historical attacks used or read any detail on them...I need to read a few books maybe at regiment level on the Bulge...then I can see what units attacked where and how long it took them historically...it all helps..

Also I really need to sit down and watch the tutorials...I quickly scanned them and thought I'd be ok as it seemed to be showing me stuff I knew...tomorrow I will sit and be patient and watch Dave.

< Message edited by wodin -- 6/13/2010 1:37:42 AM >


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RE: Oh the frustration... - 6/13/2010 3:07:21 AM   
Arjuna


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

quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin

...maybe Im being chicken and should grab the bull by the horns and get on with it...


Yep just go for it. The best way to learn is trial and error. And the good thing about a computer game against the AI is that no one needs to know how badly you did the first time through.

_____________________________

Dave "Arjuna" O'Connor
www.panthergames.com

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Post #: 5
RE: Oh the frustration... - 6/13/2010 3:13:01 AM   
loyalcitizen


Posts: 241
Joined: 2/9/2004
Status: offline
It's funny... I don't even read the briefings. I like to look at my force dispositions, the Objectives, then I hit start.

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Post #: 6
RE: Oh the frustration... - 6/13/2010 4:48:20 AM   
sanch

 

Posts: 389
Joined: 10/30/2004
Status: offline
Here's what I've been doing to learn how things work.

Load a scenario, and issue all your orders. Then save. Sit back, run for a day or so, and you'll see what worked and what didn't.

Then reload your save with the orders, adjust those that didn't work, save again, and run. After a few iterations, you should have a pretty good set of orders. Usually my adjustments are something like "this battalion ran into more resistance than expected, so this time I'll give it another corps battery to see if that is enough firepower for it to punch through".

The only problem is, the AI does not do the same things either. Whether it is in response to my changes, I don't know. However, it means that a plan that worked great one time just might be rather ugly the next time.

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Post #: 7
RE: Oh the frustration... - 6/13/2010 12:30:17 PM   
DanOppenheim

 

Posts: 126
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I've played the Manhay Crossroads scenario maybe near to ten times and have yet to do better than a draw with superior VPs. Each time I formulate a new plan that takes into account what the AI did last time, the sneaky little %$#! goes ahead and does something that I wasn't expecting. It's awesome. I'm going to get a win on this damn scenario though, because I can't move on until I do!

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Post #: 8
RE: Oh the frustration... - 6/13/2010 12:32:09 PM   
wodin


Posts: 10526
Joined: 4/20/2003
From: England
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: DanO

I've played the Manhay Crossroads scenario maybe near to ten times and have yet to do better than a draw with superior VPs. Each time I formulate a new plan that takes into account what the AI did last time, the sneaky little %$#! goes ahead and does something that I wasn't expecting. It's awesome. I'm going to get a win on this damn scenario though, because I can't move on until I do!


Thast one I'm considering doing next...I had a good look at it yesterday from the Germans side....

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RE: Oh the frustration... - 6/15/2010 3:59:19 PM   
Foolio


Posts: 27
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I have the same problem with CotA(haven't got BftB yet). I look at a map and have no idea where to start, especially with missions when you have to delay an attack for a period of time before exitting. Should I order my infantry battalion to defend that town? What should I do with my armour? Where should I place my AT guns for best effect? etc etc

I think what I'm missing is a background in tabletop wargaming to learn the basics of strategy, tactics and how to use particular units to best effect. At the moment I set a plan which looks good and 12 hours later later I'm overun, surrounded and wiped out.


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Post #: 10
RE: Oh the frustration... - 6/15/2010 7:16:44 PM   
MarkShot


Posts: 6672
Joined: 3/29/2003
Status: offline
Foolio,

Since you have COTA, then check out my Top Tips (one of the game docs). The second half covers scenario planning.

A fighting retreat involves some basic concepts. I will throw a few tips your way.

(1) Set up your arty fire base as far away from the forward edge of battle such that it can still "reach out and touch someone". You will use arty to balance the fact that the enemy outnumbers you. As such, you want to avoid having it overrun or the enemy getting inside the minimum fire mission range. By minimizing the number of moves, you also reduce fatigue. Remember if at night and contact is broke, let your batteries rest. Unlike other units you can switch their disposition in minutes.

(2) Reverse slope situations are your friend. Sitting out in full view of the enemy from many miles away is suicide. Allowing the enemy to gauge your situation facilitates economy of force for him; meaning he can minimize casualties and do just enough to dislodge you, and expect to get pounded by arty big time. If he doesn't see what he is walking into you have the chance to bloody him and cause him expend more effort. So, being on the backside of a hill or on the other side of a woods is the way to go. This gives you a very good chance of catching the enemy moving down a road in a column. You will shatter the lead units and it will take him hours to perceive what is going on and decide to come out swinging.

(3) You would think that cannot simply decide to blow a bridge in this game. But it is much easier than you think. Again you need a reverse slope situation. Get one reliable unit dug-in within 500 meters of the bridge in reverse slope. Instead of strongly reinforcing the bridge defense, leave them on their own. When they see columns of tanks rapidly approaching the bridge, they will blow it right quick. Things will happen too fast for the enemy to properly supress them. Of course, be ready with a Plan B if the enemy suceeds in taking the bridge. (Myself, I have a very good success rate with this.) But what if there is no reverse slope? Road block the enemy up the road beyond sight of the bridge. Hold him until night fall, then let him pass. The darkness will create an artificial reverse slope situation at the bridge.

(4) Remember when you displace, do it soon enough and travel far enough that you will be able to dig-in before you make contact again. You want to be dug-in while catching the enemy moving.

(5) When do you displace? If the scenario is controlling your timing via objectives, then pull out of your positions as soon as night falls. Work out the order delays and start to march about 30 minutes after it gets dark. Usually, the enemy slacks off at night. Also, if you have been fighting with him, you should easily get a few hours ahead, since he does not know you're gone and he is more likely to be deploying off road (slowing him down).

(6) When do you displace? If you are dealing with small forces and doing it of your own volition as opposed to objectives, then you watch the enemy's behavior. First contact, should have him surprised and simply moving in a column (see unit task box). After a while, he is going to pull back and decide to assault. When you notice those first units setting up to assualt (see unit task box), decide whether you can turn him back without too much expense. If you can, then knock him on his butt and as soon as he starts to pulls back to regroup, bug out. If you cannot, then bug out immediately. Again if you can bug out at night fall, this is best.

(7) Remember a retreat is all about time and space. Victory is not about taking territory, but rather throwing a monkey wrench into the enemy's time table. Don't try to hold him. Let him come. Engage and get him ready to fight ... run away. Repeat again and again. Give enough resistance to make him take you seriously, but not enough that you jeopordize your force.

(8) Remember that part of the ultimate goal is to make the enemy expend much more effort than yourself as he pushes you across the map. By the time, he has driven you down the map, you should have him totally exhausted. You achieve this by kicking him in **** when he doesn't see it comming, and then as he charges at you, you step out of the way. By continually repeating this, you are going to exhaust him. Either he will reach a point where his is too tired to pursue or when you finally face him down his fatigue will be his undoing despite the larger force.

(9) Depending on terrain and forces you should strategically block roads. A good road block can eat up a lot of time for a small investment.

(10) If you can get a unit dug-in in elevated tree line off the main road, then do it. There is nothing more satisfying than being able to lay arty on the enemy when he has no idea who is doing the spotting.

(11) Use your arty wisely. If it is limited, then save it to break assaults as opposed to hitting columns. When the assault falters, then stand down and conserve ammo. Don't waste precious resources hamering shattered units.

(12) Watch your flanks. Always make sure that they are covered.

(13) Use motorized units to quickly plug gaps. Be prepared to move them along interior lines so that they can get to where they are needed without interdiction.

(14) When you stop the enemy strongly someplace, expect him to try someplace else in the next 6 hours or so.

(15) Often the frontage of your withdrawl is going to narrow. Recognize when and where this is going to happen. By this point the enemy should be tired and you should have enough massing of force to mount a solid defensive line. Make your last stand. A good place for your last stand is just beyond the minimum range of your firebases.

(16) Realize in many exit scenarios, the enemy has an exit objective too. Leave a rear guard to stop him while you exit the necessary forces. Otherwise, right after gaining the points for a decisive victory, he will exit and narrow the point spread.

Well, I haven't done tips for a long time. I hope gives you something to chew on.

_____________________________

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

(in reply to Foolio)
Post #: 11
RE: Oh the frustration... - 6/16/2010 1:34:16 AM   
MarkShot


Posts: 6672
Joined: 3/29/2003
Status: offline
Here is link to the fail safe method of bridge blowing.

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/fb.asp?m=1056472

During Patch #2 for COTA (the AI aggression patch), I kept the playing the same retreat scenario over and over with each new build checking the OPFOR AI to see how hard it would press. There were something like 10 bridges. I got very good at blowing bridges. When you need a bridge demolished, just call me.

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

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Post #: 12
RE: Oh the frustration... - 6/16/2010 1:44:31 AM   
MarkShot


Posts: 6672
Joined: 3/29/2003
Status: offline
Oh, here's more on how to create an artificial reverse slope situation at a bridge by blocking a road during daylight. (lots of screen shots)

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/fb.asp?m=1247330

_____________________________

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

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Post #: 13
RE: Oh the frustration... - 6/16/2010 2:04:44 AM   
oldspec4

 

Posts: 745
Joined: 11/1/2004
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: MarkShot

Oh, here's more on how to create an artificial reverse slope situation at a bridge by blocking a road during daylight. (lots of screen shots)

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/fb.asp?m=1247330


OMG...I even had a comment in this thread (post # 343)

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Post #: 14
RE: Oh the frustration... - 6/16/2010 2:07:01 AM   
MarkShot


Posts: 6672
Joined: 3/29/2003
Status: offline
Seems I keep bumping into you wherever I go!

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

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Post #: 15
RE: Oh the frustration... - 6/16/2010 2:14:12 AM   
oldspec4

 

Posts: 745
Joined: 11/1/2004
Status: offline
lol..If you hang around the forums long enough it happens...

(in reply to MarkShot)
Post #: 16
RE: Oh the frustration... - 6/16/2010 1:19:09 PM   
jnpoint


Posts: 528
Joined: 8/9/2007
From: Holstebro, Denmark
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: MarkShot

Foolio,

Since you have COTA, then check out my Top Tips (one of the game docs). The second half covers scenario planning.

A fighting retreat involves some basic concepts. I will throw a few tips your way.

(1) Set up your arty fire base as far away from the forward edge of battle such that it can still "reach out and touch someone". You will use arty to balance the fact that the enemy outnumbers you. As such, you want to avoid having it overrun or the enemy getting inside the minimum fire mission range. By minimizing the number of moves, you also reduce fatigue. Remember if at night and contact is broke, let your batteries rest. Unlike other units you can switch their disposition in minutes.

(2) Reverse slope situations are your friend. Sitting out in full view of the enemy from many miles away is suicide. Allowing the enemy to gauge your situation facilitates economy of force for him; meaning he can minimize casualties and do just enough to dislodge you, and expect to get pounded by arty big time. If he doesn't see what he is walking into you have the chance to bloody him and cause him expend more effort. So, being on the backside of a hill or on the other side of a woods is the way to go. This gives you a very good chance of catching the enemy moving down a road in a column. You will shatter the lead units and it will take him hours to perceive what is going on and decide to come out swinging.

(3) You would think that cannot simply decide to blow a bridge in this game. But it is much easier than you think. Again you need a reverse slope situation. Get one reliable unit dug-in within 500 meters of the bridge in reverse slope. Instead of strongly reinforcing the bridge defense, leave them on their own. When they see columns of tanks rapidly approaching the bridge, they will blow it right quick. Things will happen too fast for the enemy to properly supress them. Of course, be ready with a Plan B if the enemy suceeds in taking the bridge. (Myself, I have a very good success rate with this.) But what if there is no reverse slope? Road block the enemy up the road beyond sight of the bridge. Hold him until night fall, then let him pass. The darkness will create an artificial reverse slope situation at the bridge.

(4) Remember when you displace, do it soon enough and travel far enough that you will be able to dig-in before you make contact again. You want to be dug-in while catching the enemy moving.

(5) When do you displace? If the scenario is controlling your timing via objectives, then pull out of your positions as soon as night falls. Work out the order delays and start to march about 30 minutes after it gets dark. Usually, the enemy slacks off at night. Also, if you have been fighting with him, you should easily get a few hours ahead, since he does not know you're gone and he is more likely to be deploying off road (slowing him down).

(6) When do you displace? If you are dealing with small forces and doing it of your own volition as opposed to objectives, then you watch the enemy's behavior. First contact, should have him surprised and simply moving in a column (see unit task box). After a while, he is going to pull back and decide to assault. When you notice those first units setting up to assualt (see unit task box), decide whether you can turn him back without too much expense. If you can, then knock him on his butt and as soon as he starts to pulls back to regroup, bug out. If you cannot, then bug out immediately. Again if you can bug out at night fall, this is best.

(7) Remember a retreat is all about time and space. Victory is not about taking territory, but rather throwing a monkey wrench into the enemy's time table. Don't try to hold him. Let him come. Engage and get him ready to fight ... run away. Repeat again and again. Give enough resistance to make him take you seriously, but not enough that you jeopordize your force.

(8) Remember that part of the ultimate goal is to make the enemy expend much more effort than yourself as he pushes you across the map. By the time, he has driven you down the map, you should have him totally exhausted. You achieve this by kicking him in **** when he doesn't see it comming, and then as he charges at you, you step out of the way. By continually repeating this, you are going to exhaust him. Either he will reach a point where his is too tired to pursue or when you finally face him down his fatigue will be his undoing despite the larger force.

(9) Depending on terrain and forces you should strategically block roads. A good road block can eat up a lot of time for a small investment.

(10) If you can get a unit dug-in in elevated tree line off the main road, then do it. There is nothing more satisfying than being able to lay arty on the enemy when he has no idea who is doing the spotting.

(11) Use your arty wisely. If it is limited, then save it to break assaults as opposed to hitting columns. When the assault falters, then stand down and conserve ammo. Don't waste precious resources hamering shattered units.

(12) Watch your flanks. Always make sure that they are covered.

(13) Use motorized units to quickly plug gaps. Be prepared to move them along interior lines so that they can get to where they are needed without interdiction.

(14) When you stop the enemy strongly someplace, expect him to try someplace else in the next 6 hours or so.

(15) Often the frontage of your withdrawl is going to narrow. Recognize when and where this is going to happen. By this point the enemy should be tired and you should have enough massing of force to mount a solid defensive line. Make your last stand. A good place for your last stand is just beyond the minimum range of your firebases.

(16) Realize in many exit scenarios, the enemy has an exit objective too. Leave a rear guard to stop him while you exit the necessary forces. Otherwise, right after gaining the points for a decisive victory, he will exit and narrow the point spread.

Well, I haven't done tips for a long time. I hope gives you something to chew on.


thanks, it's really useful info for us who haven't learned enough about military tactics. Can I get informations like this anywhere? I get easily over challenged with the many units and options!

(in reply to MarkShot)
Post #: 17
RE: Oh the frustration... - 6/16/2010 1:50:12 PM   
MarkShot


Posts: 6672
Joined: 3/29/2003
Status: offline
I can appreciate that as I didn't have a clue when I started playing RDOA. I was still clueless as a beta tester as well.

You can check out my 2 HTTR and 1 COTA Mini-Guide threads in the respective forums. (about 300 pages if printed) Most material is also appropriate for BFTB.

Additionally, there is was 20 page doc I which was included with COTA MarkShot's Top Tips. Perhaps, Matrix will consent to make it available as a free download or to any registered BFTB owners.

Good luck!

_____________________________

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

(in reply to jnpoint)
Post #: 18
RE: Oh the frustration... - 6/16/2010 2:33:25 PM   
jnpoint


Posts: 528
Joined: 8/9/2007
From: Holstebro, Denmark
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: MarkShot

I can appreciate that as I didn't have a clue when I started playing RDOA. I was still clueless as a beta tester as well.

You can check out my 2 HTTR and 1 COTA Mini-Guide threads in the respective forums. (about 300 pages if printed) Most material is also appropriate for BFTB.

Additionally, there is was 20 page doc I which was included with COTA MarkShot's Top Tips. Perhaps, Matrix will consent to make it available as a free download or to any registered BFTB owners.

Good luck!


I will - thank you.

(in reply to MarkShot)
Post #: 19
RE: Oh the frustration... - 6/16/2010 3:40:50 PM   
MarkShot


Posts: 6672
Joined: 3/29/2003
Status: offline
A tip a day keeps the enemy away. I like that. War can be so hostile at times.

_____________________________

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

(in reply to jnpoint)
Post #: 20
RE: Oh the frustration... - 6/16/2010 6:19:17 PM   
HansBolter


Posts: 7339
Joined: 7/6/2006
From: St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Arjuna


quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin

...maybe Im being chicken and should grab the bull by the horns and get on with it...


Yep just go for it. The best way to learn is trial and error. And the good thing about a computer game against the AI is that no one needs to know how badly you did the first time through.



I used this technique to great effect during my playtesting.

Since I was testing and needed to be able to provide fedback and saved games just prior to CTDs I made a policy of saving every hour of game time. My saves took on a structure of "Scenario name"-"Day"-"Time" (example: Race for Bastogne-D2-1300).

This kept saved games in chronological order and allowed me to easily go back to any save point and "try again". If it took 6 hours of game time for me to discover my plan was flawed, I would simply go back 6 hours and try something different.

This is obviously something one could never do in a head to head game, or should be done if one is testing one's own prowess against the AI, but it is a tremendous tool for learning how things work, how long it takes for your troops to respond to your orders and accomplish the tasks set for them and for determining "what one should do" in terms of issuing orders and geting the ball rolling from the scenario start.

I strongly suggest that anyone who seems overhwelmed by the task of issuing initial orders to get a scenario started take the approach that your first go at it constitutes "personal playtesting and putzing around with the game engine" to gain sufficient familiarity with things to acquire a comfort level with the "command burden". Wade in, play around, go back and rework until you have a comfort level......then worry about tackling a full scenario without restarts to gauge your competence.

(in reply to Arjuna)
Post #: 21
RE: Oh the frustration... - 6/16/2010 6:21:58 PM   
wodin


Posts: 10526
Joined: 4/20/2003
From: England
Status: offline
I no longer have the furstration effect anymore...

I started Race to bastogne and it really did help me..infact it was quite liberating looking at the bigger picture more rather than analysing the tactical details constantly..giving orders to regiment and Kampfgruppe level was great fun...plus you get abit of time in that particular scenario playing as the germans before it all kicks off.

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