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Back on Deck - 11/5/2013 10:50:26 PM   
Arjuna


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Hi all,

Just to let you all know that I'm back now working on the code. Thank you all for your patience while I've been recovering. My right hand on which I had two operations is getting better. I still have some numbness in two fingers but the surgeon tells me that will hopefully go away over time. So my fingers are crossed. Please excuse the bad pun.

Yesterday I spent working up a new bug tracker database using Debuggle. So far it's great. With the help of the Panther Dev Team I now have a list of things to do for a new patch. Basically these fall into three areas - combat (in particular anti-armour fire), supply (for the longer airborne scenarios), HQs leading the charge.

I have made some changes to the fire routines but need to analyse some more before signing off on these.

We've identified what needs to be done to fix the supply issue but this only impacts significantly on the longer airborne scenarios. I don't see any problems with this.

I now know why and when the HQs lead the charge. This can occur when an attack order is given with an objective a long way from the current location of the force. I discovered this as I was preparing a demo scenario for a NATO modelling and sim workshop that gave a presentation to a couple of weeks back. I was using a proof of concept scenario developed by the boys at the US Command and General Staff College. It had a huge map and I gave an attack over a 15kms distance from the force. Sure enough every time the subordinate HQs charged off to their reserve locs for their subAttacks.

I am going to have to add a test for this and where this is the case add an extra Move task to an assembly area behind the desired FUP. Then the whole force will move to that assembly area together and from there the assault troops will move to their nearby FUP and the HQ to its nearby reserve loc. This is going to require a fair bit of mods to the Attack code but it should fix the problem.

In the meantime I recommend that you do a Move manually yourself and then issue a subsequent Attack order where the distance from the force to the desired FUP is more than say 2-3kms.

I'm not sure how long these should take but I'll let you know how things progress.

< Message edited by Arjuna -- 11/5/2013 11:56:11 PM >


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www.panthergames.com
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RE: Back on Deck - 11/5/2013 11:11:12 PM   
Arjuna


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Adding another issue - ie Delay between Move and Defend as mentioned in this thread:
http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3368151


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RE: Back on Deck - 11/6/2013 12:58:02 AM   
Deathtreader


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Welcome back!!

Good to see you back on the horse!

Rob.

_____________________________

So we're at war with the Russkies eh?? I suppose we really ought to invade or something. (Lonnnng pause while studying the map)
Hmmmm... big place ain't it??
- Sir Harry Flashman (1854)

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RE: Back on Deck - 11/6/2013 2:19:28 AM   
Arjuna


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Thanks Rob. Note that I didn't say 'back in the saddle'. It's definitely a nautical theme this week and no riposte about me being 'all at sea'.

< Message edited by Arjuna -- 11/6/2013 3:19:48 AM >


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RE: Back on Deck - 11/6/2013 3:24:01 AM   
Ranger33

 

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Good to hear! I finally took the plunge with this sale (BftB and HttR) after being on the fence for a long, long time. Really enjoying it so far and looking forward to everything to come!

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RE: Back on Deck - 11/6/2013 5:49:04 AM   
Remmes


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Good to see you back Arjuna!

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RE: Back on Deck - 11/6/2013 7:28:32 AM   
Missouri_Rebel


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Ranger33

Good to hear! I finally took the plunge with this sale (BftB and HttR) after being on the fence for a long, long time. Really enjoying it so far and looking forward to everything to come!


+1

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RE: Back on Deck - 11/6/2013 9:51:11 AM   
captskillet


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good to see you back Dave, was it carpal tunnel syndrome? Hows your daughter doing? Looking forward to patch and the COTA Med pack scenarios!

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RE: Back on Deck - 11/6/2013 11:00:34 AM   
jimcarravall

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Arjuna

Hi all,

Just to let you all know that I'm back now working on the code. Thank you all for your patience while I've been recovering. My right hand on which I had two operations is getting better. I still have some numbness in two fingers but the surgeon tells me that will hopefully go away over time. So my fingers are crossed. Please excuse the bad pun.



If it's the numb fingers crossing, you're further along than you thought

Glad to see you back.

_____________________________

Take care,

jim

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RE: Back on Deck - 11/6/2013 11:14:56 AM   
Arjuna


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jimcarravallah


quote:

ORIGINAL: Arjuna

Hi all,

Just to let you all know that I'm back now working on the code. Thank you all for your patience while I've been recovering. My right hand on which I had two operations is getting better. I still have some numbness in two fingers but the surgeon tells me that will hopefully go away over time. So my fingers are crossed. Please excuse the bad pun.



If it's the numb fingers crossing, you're further along than you thought

Glad to see you back.



_____________________________

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

(in reply to jimcarravall)
Post #: 10
RE: Back on Deck - 11/6/2013 11:18:04 AM   
Arjuna


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quote:

ORIGINAL: captskillet

good to see you back Dave, was it carpal tunnel syndrome? Hows your daughter doing? Looking forward to patch and the COTA Med pack scenarios!

First op was for Dupuytrens, second for carpel tunnel. My daughter's back home now and yes I'm looking forward to getting the patch out too.

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www.panthergames.com

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RE: Back on Deck - 11/6/2013 11:55:57 AM   
jimcarravall

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Arjuna


quote:

ORIGINAL: captskillet

good to see you back Dave, was it carpal tunnel syndrome? Hows your daughter doing? Looking forward to patch and the COTA Med pack scenarios!

First op was for Dupuytrens, second for carpel tunnel. My daughter's back home now and yes I'm looking forward to getting the patch out too.

Good to hear about your daughter.

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Take care,

jim

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RE: Back on Deck - 11/6/2013 12:25:43 PM   
wodin


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Welcome back Dave, you've been missed round these parts:) Good news your on the recovery and your Daughter is on the mend to.

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RE: Back on Deck - 11/6/2013 12:48:42 PM   
Phoenix100

 

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All great news. Definitely welcome back!!

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RE: Back on Deck - 11/6/2013 4:14:37 PM   
garymiboy

 

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Welcome back Dave. speedy recovery we all hope

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RE: Back on Deck - 11/6/2013 7:17:17 PM   
kipanderson

 

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Hi,

Yes... it is great to have Dave back up and running again. Well typing anyway..

Am a huge fan of this engine of very long standing as are others here and look forward to what is coming our way... and lacking all imagination.... I do mean the move to the Eastern Front...

Great stuff,
All the best,
Kip.



< Message edited by kipanderson -- 11/6/2013 8:18:08 PM >

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RE: Back on Deck - 11/6/2013 10:09:47 PM   
wdkruger

 

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Great to have you back.

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RE: Back on Deck - 11/6/2013 10:56:02 PM   
GBS

 

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We all wish the best for you and your family. +1

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RE: Back on Deck - 11/7/2013 12:52:33 AM   
Deathtreader


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Hi Dave,

There's been a lot of support throughout several threads of adding a "no supply" option in addition to the existing min, normal, and max options.

How do you feel about that??

If you're ok with it -- is it something simple enough to include with the next patch??

Rob.

_____________________________

So we're at war with the Russkies eh?? I suppose we really ought to invade or something. (Lonnnng pause while studying the map)
Hmmmm... big place ain't it??
- Sir Harry Flashman (1854)

(in reply to Arjuna)
Post #: 19
RE: Back on Deck - 11/7/2013 1:00:53 AM   
Arjuna


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Rob,

Are you talking about adding another option to an Order are you?

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RE: Back on Deck - 11/7/2013 1:05:12 AM   
Deathtreader


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Arjuna

Rob,

Are you talking about adding another option to an Order are you?



Yes.

At the individual unit and/or formation levels.

Rob.


_____________________________

So we're at war with the Russkies eh?? I suppose we really ought to invade or something. (Lonnnng pause while studying the map)
Hmmmm... big place ain't it??
- Sir Harry Flashman (1854)

(in reply to Arjuna)
Post #: 21
RE: Back on Deck - 11/7/2013 1:08:01 AM   
wodin


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Maybe a box to tick like we have for rest...we have one also for no supply. OR have a box to tick on a supply unit that says stop supply runs (though this might be abit to general as it's likely there will be units you still want to get supplies and some you don't want to send out supplies to. Unless a Supply unit has a separate tab..where it lists all units currently pulling supply and after each one there is a box which is ticked..but you can untick it to stop supply.)

< Message edited by wodin -- 11/7/2013 2:12:17 AM >


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RE: Back on Deck - 11/7/2013 3:25:49 AM   
Arjuna


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If you do this with an order, then it will affect all units in the force group, including those who may be able to readily receive supplies without any losses to the assigned transport. If you added it to a unit then it would stand until you unchecked it regardless of whether the unit moves or receives new orders. It probably should be done at the unit level. But this could get quite tedious for the player if there are a large group of forces in a particular area that you want to set either to not receive or to receive supplies. Also it means having to make the Unit data display an active one - currently it is a read only display. That could involve a fair bit of work. The easier option would be to do it for the order but either way it's going to involve a bit of work. I will add this to the wish list but it will have to wait for now.

What I think is a better solution is to add extra data to a unit that stores the history of resupply runs to it and then use this to determine whether it's a good idea to send another run. Eg if we store say the last three runs, along with the arrival time, location and the losses suffered, then we can do a test such that if the location is still the same and the last three did get through or the losses are deemed unacceptable, then we abort the run. I think this approach will largely obviate the need for a UI control. What do you think?

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www.panthergames.com

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RE: Back on Deck - 11/7/2013 3:41:26 AM   
wodin


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Arjuna



What I think is a better solution is to add extra data to a unit that stores the history of resupply runs to it and then use this to determine whether it's a good idea to send another run. Eg if we store say the last three runs, along with the arrival time, location and the losses suffered, then we can do a test such that if the location is still the same and the last three did get through or the losses are deemed unacceptable, then we abort the run. I think this approach will largely obviate the need for a UI control. What do you think?


Improving the Tac AI to make better decisions on when to send supply if supply convoys have been attacked and be much better at trying to re route and find a safer path if enemy are spotted. SO yes Dave I think your suggestion is fine...the Tac AI decides if it should abort.

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RE: Back on Deck - 11/7/2013 8:20:01 AM   
Phoenix100

 

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I think you should try it, Dave. I also think - for the future - that much more player control over supply would be great (I would like to be able to manually plot the supply routes, for example).

Will your fix solve the issues that have been raised? I think two broad issues were raised.
1. Continual attrition of supply resources through interdiction due to the AI repeatedly making runs into interdicted territory.
2. Territory interdicted when it shouldn't be. In particular, examples are in the threads of, for example, almost surrounded units managing to interdict the supply to the units surrounding them despite being under suppressive fires. But that's just an extreme case. Take the Oosterbeek pocket - what I would like to see is that a pocket such as that would work in the game as it would work historically. Historically the FLOT in the pocket got barely any supply because none was dropped into the pocket. The little supply that was dropped directly into the pocket, and the supply they did have within the pocket already was successfully distributed by hook or by crook - we assume it was man-ported. But in the game, if you do drop supply into a pocket, for example (place a SEP there, get your bases in etc), or a bridgehead, then the sheer weight of enemy beyond the FLOT can regularly interdict ALL supply to affected FLOT troops. When this happens in a built-up urban environment rich in cover and concealment to help work supply through, then the modelling seems very off. Stalingrad couldn't happen, for sure.


It sounds like your fix would go some way to stopping repeat 100% interdiction messages - solve the first issue. The pay-off would be - what? That the player would have to change the combat/supply base situation to get supply through, because if everything remained as it was the AI would continually determine that the route was blocked. That sounds good, but it crosses into issue 2 then, especially if the situation is in terrain rich in cover and concealment possibilities. Because often the reason the AI would determine supply as interdicted would be due to the circumstances arising in issue 2.

The fix wouldn't address the second issue, I think? Is it realistic for enemy units to be able to interdict supply to the FLOT not by cutting the supply line in the traditional way (attacking a choke point on the supply route etc), but simply by being engaged with the units needing supply, so that the mere presence of the enemy units in effect cuts the supply route to the unit right behind it, at the very last part of the supply route. That's what seems to happen at the moment. It makes it impossible to secure a supply route to engaged units. And some examples suggest that the enemy interdicting supply like this needn't have a force superiority to do so. Though, it doesn't happen all the time, all the examples posted of airborne ops show this, I think. The 508 at Nijmegan get cut off by the amount of enemy armour coming over the bridge, or at the other side of it, regardless of whether there's a nice safe avoidance route into their rear. When they're in an urban environment, as they are, this seems wrong. It seems less wrong when they're in the open, but it can still happen in a counter-intuitive way when they're in the open - for example when Allied units are interdicted by the presence of an Axis unit that they outnumber and outgun.

For the second issue I think you would need to have a look at how the interdiction calculation is made, especially how those units right in front of an interdicted unit contribute to the calculation.

Great you're back and looking at it, anyway.

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RE: Back on Deck - 11/7/2013 11:21:11 AM   
Arjuna


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Re Interdiction of Supply Lines. This is a difficult one indeed. The nub of the problem is the use of enemy firepower to cause cas on the supply columns. If we tone this down, then yes you will get more columns through but I'm not sure it would be terribly realistic. What usually happened in real life is that the supply column would drop off further back and the forward units would send manpack back to bring the supplied forward on foot. They would do this at night to avoid detection. It is a right royal pain in the but. I know as I have had to carry supplies forward myself and its back breaking work. In daylight it would be suicide to try. So it does mean that the units on the front line get less supply.

I think perhaps the best thing is a combination of reducing the firepower effect and in perhaps reducing it even further where there are friendly units physically occupying the ground. I always worry about the later though as the fact that there are friendlies there doesn't mean the enemy won't shoot at the trucks or manpack. But it goes someway to modelling the fact that if this were to happen ( ie the enemy firing to interdict the supplies ) the other friendlies would fire back and hopefully supress the enemy.

This I will be looking at before the patch goes out.

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RE: Back on Deck - 11/7/2013 11:51:08 AM   
Phoenix100

 

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For the fix you have in mind to the first issue, Dave - could it be that if the supply button is set to minimal than one failed run (of any percentage) in the unit memory, when it checks, would be enough to cause it to abort the run if the same avoidance route exists, for the other buttons then one 100% interdicted run would be enough to abort it (because after a 100% message there's no point in trying again if conditions remain the same)?

And for the second issue fix is it possible to reduce the enemy firepower effect, from enemy in front of the unit requesting supply, over the ground to the rear of the unit requesting supply (the direction supply should come in from?)on a scale reflecting the strength of friendly firepower covering that supply ingress terrain? If something like that doesn't happen already? I had assumed it did, to be honest, and that you would be able to tune it.

I agree it all sounds very difficult to work out how to get it so it looks realistic. You do want, for instance, at the limit, a really massive concentration of forces against a vastly inferior single unit to be able to completely cut off that unit, even if it's in good cover and concealment. But you don't want the fact that roughly equal unit concentrations can consistently cut each other off just by facing each other in battle where the units requesting supply are in terrain that men could have used to bring in supplies under cover, by night.

But I hope you can work out something. It would resurrect the big scenarios for me! Though I do now notice these supply problems in nearly all scenarios, of any length, it's true that it's only in the very large (and especially airborne) scenarios that you're in danger of running out of all supply capability halfway through the scenario. I have put together fixes by dropping or entering, periodically, replacement bases, but it's a poor solution. The threat of losing the supply does have to be there, but not quite like it is.

Could you please also look at that conditions under which HQs switch their supply to higher bases? You will have seen this in the threads. XXX Corps arrive in Nijmegan or Arnhem, for example, with full supply and functioning bases, the paras there have defunct bases, but supply doesn't switch to the XXX Corps base. I think once a base is useless (no trucks, jeeps etc) then even if it's still on the map the AI should switch the supply chain to the higher level base from the organic structure. This might overload the base, perhaps, and affect supply to its own units, but that's preferable to the paras all surrendering due to starvation before the scenario finishes with supplied, well-fed troops parading past them. You can always use the supply button option to mitigate the effects.

< Message edited by phoenix -- 11/7/2013 1:11:05 PM >

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RE: Back on Deck - 11/7/2013 4:06:03 PM   
wodin


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If it can be improved without any need for the player to get involved then I think thats the best way. Much rather it all get sorted by the game engine automatically than having to start micro managing the supply to be honest, let Dave work his magic;). This should be something the tac ai gets on with while we concentrate on the fighting.

< Message edited by wodin -- 11/7/2013 5:07:49 PM >


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RE: Back on Deck - 11/7/2013 5:18:04 PM   
Phoenix100

 

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Assuming we're talking about future directions for the engine, I can't agree with you there, Jason. I'd like options on player involvement, as there is with most other features in the game. That's one of the great things about it, that you can scale it as you wish. But I agree that if, for example, Dave develops it so that in future iterations you can plot your own supply route, then you shouldn't have to do that, just have the option. Which I would use, obviously, only when the AI solution turned out to be not quite what I wanted.

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RE: Back on Deck - 11/7/2013 6:25:24 PM   
Fred Sanford

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Arjuna

What usually happened in real life is that the supply column would drop off further back and the forward units would send manpack back to bring the supplied forward on foot. They would do this at night to avoid detection. It is a right royal pain in the but. I know as I have had to carry supplies forward myself and its back breaking work. In daylight it would be suicide to try. So it does mean that the units on the front line get less supply.

I think perhaps the best thing is a combination of reducing the firepower effect and in perhaps reducing it even further where there are friendly units physically occupying the ground. I always worry about the later though as the fact that there are friendlies there doesn't mean the enemy won't shoot at the trucks or manpack. But it goes someway to modelling the fact that if this were to happen ( ie the enemy firing to interdict the supplies ) the other friendlies would fire back and hopefully supress the enemy.

This I will be looking at before the patch goes out.

Perhaps if losses are calculated from fire coming over the front, the losses would be converted to a fatigue penalty to the resupplied unit in lieu of supply train casualties (they dropped off the supplies 1000m back, so there's a 5% fatigue hit on the unit)?
Also, how about if interdiction is made on the morning supply run and losses incurred the losses may be suspended until the supply run is re-attemped after dark. If losses are again incurred, then the losses from both attempts are taken and the route reported blocked? If the nighttime supply run makes it through without (a <100%) loss, then the lesser of the two loss results are applied to both runs.

Feature request: Assignable base units- on the supply tab for any unit, make the displayed base a control that can be clicked, and another base selected. Or none at all (no resupply). Make an "apply to subordinates" check box for HQ unit's in order to change units en masse. Maybe also make the scenario editor control for 1 or 2 per day supply runs feature applicable by base or command as an in-game control.

(in reply to Arjuna)
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