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How I learned to stop worrying and love Limited Orders (and waypoints)

 
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How I learned to stop worrying and love Limited Orders... - 3/22/2015 1:13:02 AM   
governato

 

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The title seemed appropriate, if a bit misleading! I always play with limited orders, vs the AI or PBEM . Limited orders are fun! It is a great additional challenge, and while it may not be 'really as it happens on the battlefield', it adds the basic fact that I won't be able to get everything I want done by my troops in time. But as one of the developers mentioned, there is not much on this forum on how to use Limited Orders efficiently and so I decided to open this thread. Hopefully more people will chime in.

Here is what I do:

- always, always use three waypoints when plotting a move. I can move/delete them later in the game without having to use an order.
- if I am not so sure how the action will pan out (that means almost always) and I am not i a super hurry, I set a delay on the last waypoint.
This way my units will not rush onto a minefield after the recon units have stumbled on it. If the way is clear, I remove the delay. Penalties
from moving/altering waypoints seem limited.

With just those two simple tricks I rarely find myself strapped for Orders.


I have not played all the scenarios, but I find myself short of Orders more often when playing NATO. WP seems to have more, but I think that it is because, given the longer response time along the WP C&C chain, I tend to plan my moves with WP forces long in advance and count on the `steamroller effect' aka brute force, to make progress, so I try not to change orders later.


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RE: How I learned to stop worrying and love Limited Or... - 3/22/2015 5:26:33 PM   
SwampYankee68


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This game more than all others forced you to develop a sound plan before giving your first order... It punishes you for scrapping a plan and trying something new mid-stream

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(in reply to governato)
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RE: How I learned to stop worrying and love Limited Or... - 4/3/2015 1:12:30 PM   
pzgndr

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: governato
Limited orders are fun! It is a great additional challenge, and while it may not be 'really as it happens on the battlefield', it adds the basic fact that I won't be able to get everything I want done by my troops in time.


"...in time." I am trying to stop worrying and love the dynamic orders cycle a little more. One aspect of the orders cycle I do not care for is that it affects the entire side. In other words there is no difference between different HQs and their subordinate units, such that one unit may be more overwhelmed with local activity than another unit elsewhere. I prefer using the limited orders and I want to, but with the AI not playing by limited orders it simply becomes a handicap to increase difficulty for the solitaire player with no associated increase in realism.

Messing with the cycle length fails to capture what individual unit HQs (NATO companies versus Soviet battalions) would have had to deal with on the local level. Making the limited orders work, for both sides, and perhaps considering some dynamic effect on order limits for fixed cycle lengths of 10-15 minutes or so could be more realistic. For example, TOCs and HQs moving and/or under fire/EW jamming/etc. could have an orders penalty. Simply making the cycle longer to effectively do less per unit time penalizes the entire side and fails to give any credit to the different HQs for planning and/or initiative.

I'd rather have a fixed unit time and worry about what I can get done this turn versus what I have to defer until the next turn. As it is, the situation may change 5 minutes into a 30-minute cycle and I have to wait 25 minutes to issue a simple FRAGO and then wait to see it executed after orders delays are taken into account. That right there is really NOT as it happens on the battlefield. So hopefully more folks will learn to love limited orders and discuss how to improve and enhance them for v2.1. Additional challenge can always be implemented through other optional difficulty settings.

(in reply to governato)
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RE: How I learned to stop worrying and love Limited Or... - 4/3/2015 6:35:22 PM   
Mad Russian


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quote:

ORIGINAL: pzgndr

Messing with the cycle length fails to capture what individual unit HQs (NATO companies versus Soviet battalions) would have had to deal with on the local level. Making the limited orders work, for both sides, and perhaps considering some dynamic effect on order limits for fixed cycle lengths of 10-15 minutes or so could be more realistic. For example, TOCs and HQs moving and/or under fire/EW jamming/etc. could have an orders penalty. Simply making the cycle longer to effectively do less per unit time penalizes the entire side and fails to give any credit to the different HQs for planning and/or initiative.


I'm sorry that Limited Orders has failed as a mechanic of the game so miserably. I was for some time the only member of the team that thought it was a worthwhile mechanic. As I have said in many threads this will get looked at in the future. However, since this seems to generate such a degree of negative feeling I will reluctantly agree that it be taken out.


quote:


I'd rather have a fixed unit time and worry about what I can get done this turn versus what I have to defer until the next turn. As it is, the situation may change 5 minutes into a 30-minute cycle and I have to wait 25 minutes to issue a simple FRAGO and then wait to see it executed after orders delays are taken into account. That right there is really NOT as it happens on the battlefield. So hopefully more folks will learn to love limited orders and discuss how to improve and enhance them for v2.1. Additional challenge can always be implemented through other optional difficulty settings.


Whatever the game does or doesn't do will depend on what we as a group feel is the most realistic way to move forward. As I have said in the past, Flashpoint Campaigns is not about to become a clone of any existing or previous game. We have been working on where Limited Orders was to go but at this time I would say it will be taken out of the game altogether.

Thsnks for all your comments and opinions. We do listen.

Good Hunting.

MR


_____________________________

The most expensive thing in the world is free time.

Founder of HSG scenario design group for Combat Mission.
Panzer Command Ostfront Development Team.
Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.

(in reply to pzgndr)
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RE: How I learned to stop worrying and love Limited Or... - 4/3/2015 11:30:48 PM   
pzgndr

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mad Russian
I'm sorry that Limited Orders has failed as a mechanic of the game so miserably... I would say it will be taken out of the game altogether.


That which has not been fully implemented cannot be properly assessed as a success or failure. It is simply incomplete in its current state, not a miserable failure.

I'll be standing by to hear whatever the "official" announcements are for v2.1 once the entire team has figured out where the command and control model is going with this game..

(in reply to Mad Russian)
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RE: How I learned to stop worrying and love Limited Or... - 4/4/2015 5:52:12 AM   
batteran

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: pzgndr

"...in time." I am trying to stop worrying and love the dynamic orders cycle a little more. One aspect of the orders cycle I do not care for is that it affects the entire side. In other words there is no difference between different HQs and their subordinate units, such that one unit may be more overwhelmed with local activity than another unit elsewhere. I prefer using the limited orders and I want to, but with the AI not playing by limited orders it simply becomes a handicap to increase difficulty for the solitaire player with no associated increase in realism.

Messing with the cycle length fails to capture what individual unit HQs (NATO companies versus Soviet battalions) would have had to deal with on the local level. Making the limited orders work, for both sides, and perhaps considering some dynamic effect on order limits for fixed cycle lengths of 10-15 minutes or so could be more realistic. For example, TOCs and HQs moving and/or under fire/EW jamming/etc. could have an orders penalty. Simply making the cycle longer to effectively do less per unit time penalizes the entire side and fails to give any credit to the different HQs for planning and/or initiative.

I'd rather have a fixed unit time and worry about what I can get done this turn versus what I have to defer until the next turn. As it is, the situation may change 5 minutes into a 30-minute cycle and I have to wait 25 minutes to issue a simple FRAGO and then wait to see it executed after orders delays are taken into account. That right there is really NOT as it happens on the battlefield. So hopefully more folks will learn to love limited orders and discuss how to improve and enhance them for v2.1. Additional challenge can always be implemented through other optional difficulty settings.


Hello.

- I undestand your frustration about awaiting turn for issuing orders AND for the individual unit delay, but apart a "pause button" for issuing a order anytime, I don't see what you fell you need.
- How can a limited 15 min order cycle be an improvement instead of the actual variable lenght order cycle? I don't see, and it will broke some asynchronous very interressing situations.
- What sort of initiative would you your companies/units take?

The asynchronous WEGO have some drawbacks, but it lead into interressing situations: like when I issued an "assault" order to some units, and see that my opponent have done the same and look for the 2 assaults will hit each other... The one whith the shorter cycle will be the first to take situation change in account and take advantage! ^^

It look not a very reallistic feature maybe, but it lead into interressing challenges, really succes at simulating some messy situations when "the first to react" can take an advantage, and certainly have a frustrating learning curve.

But that frustrating lerning curve lead into very good feeling once you start to master some tips. And playing with "limited orders" force you to adopt and master theses tips, for exemple:

- use and abuse of waypoints and make your moves accross all the map if possible (don't "mini-step" it ^^)
- issue few orders, alway have a reserve formation, try to keep moving your men if not in a final heavy defending position.

You want to be in the capacity to react well, hard and fast and broke the reaction possibilities of your ennemies.

The harder thing to do in this game is to react in time and the insane frustration it give you is when you are unable to react ^^

And I think this feeling is an intrinsec feature of the asynchronous WEGO and orders delays, that is hard to master and induce frustration, but is the core of the challenge this game give it to you.

That's why I think you're wrong here.

< Message edited by batteran -- 4/4/2015 6:54:35 AM >

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RE: How I learned to stop worrying and love Limited Or... - 4/4/2015 11:24:30 AM   
WildCatNL


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quote:

ORIGINAL: batteran

[...] And playing with "limited orders" force you to adopt and master theses tips, for exemple:
- use and abuse of waypoints and make your moves accross all the map if possible (don't "mini-step" it ^^)
- issue few orders, alway have a reserve formation, try to keep moving your men if not in a final heavy defending position.

You want to be in the capacity to react well, hard and fast and broke the reaction possibilities of your ennemies.

The harder thing to do in this game is to react in time and the insane frustration it give you is when you are unable to react ^^

And I think this feeling is an intrinsec feature of the asynchronous WEGO and orders delays, that is hard to master and induce frustration, but is the core of the challenge this game give it to you.

[...]


Well put. With "limited orders", I also find myself issuing "long" orders (in distance, and into the future), sometimes with a waypoint delay, as I might not have to the capacity to issue a new order to the unit in the next turn. Frustating when I call it wrong, great when I anticipated the situation and get it right.

William

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RE: How I learned to stop worrying and love Limited Or... - 4/4/2015 11:37:38 AM   
pzgndr

 

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Regarding this game providing interesting and frustrating challenges, sure, I have no disagreement. I generally like the game. It has a great interface, wonderful maps, and the unit combats are very well done. There is room for improvement with SOPs and such, but it's good.

For command and control however, the dynamic cycles still do not capture the fundamental effect of NATO units having more C2 flexibility than their numerically superior Soviet opponents. Either folks do not fully understand what I am trying to get at or they do not care. If, big if perhaps, v2.1 were to offer a more complete limited orders option AND the AI were made capable of playing by the LO option, then players could judge for themselves. Let's shoot for more realism andnot just "challenge", yes?

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RE: How I learned to stop worrying and love Limited Or... - 4/4/2015 1:18:55 PM   
batteran

 

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Do you really think that the order issuing/command cycle "IRL" of an soviet unit will be that much longer than the NATO counterpart?

They have similar gear and procedures after all.

What is different, is the lower unit scale initiative and orders: entires companies for soviets, smaller units for NATO. It's part of the soviets doctrine, and this is simulated in the game.

NATO have work on interoperability problems from the beginning (as part of an alliance), and they comand and control centers are very fine.

But the soviet counterpart, as working at another scale, is as efficient I think?

I don't know well these sort of things, but if you have some links...

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RE: How I learned to stop worrying and love Limited Or... - 4/4/2015 2:19:47 PM   
pzgndr

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: batteran
But the soviet counterpart, as working at another scale, is as efficient I think?
I don't know well these sort of things, but if you have some links...


No, the Soviet C2 structure was not as efficient or as flexible as NATO, that's the whole point. Check out FM 100-2-1

This is all very challenging to accurately and "realistically" model in a game, I admit. If you don't account for NATO's qualitative C2 advantages over the Soviet numerical superiority, then that just unrealistically handicaps the NATO player and/or benefits the Soviet player. So yeah that's challenging in itself for this game but it's not how we trained IRL in the 1980's.

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RE: How I learned to stop worrying and love Limited Or... - 4/4/2015 3:02:06 PM   
Mad Russian


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quote:

ORIGINAL: pzgndr


"...in time." I am trying to stop worrying and love the dynamic orders cycle a little more. One aspect of the orders cycle I do not care for is that it affects the entire side. In other words there is no difference between different HQs and their subordinate units, such that one unit may be more overwhelmed with local activity than another unit elsewhere. I prefer using the limited orders and I want to, but with the AI not playing by limited orders it simply becomes a handicap to increase difficulty for the solitaire player with no associated increase in realism.



You do understand that the scale of this game is that you are the Brigade Commander and it's YOUR orders we are limiting. Why would that not affect your entire force?

Good Hunting.

MR


_____________________________

The most expensive thing in the world is free time.

Founder of HSG scenario design group for Combat Mission.
Panzer Command Ostfront Development Team.
Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.

(in reply to pzgndr)
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RE: How I learned to stop worrying and love Limited Or... - 4/5/2015 4:39:16 AM   
batteran

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: pzgndr


quote:

ORIGINAL: batteran
But the soviet counterpart, as working at another scale, is as efficient I think?
I don't know well these sort of things, but if you have some links...


No, the Soviet C2 structure was not as efficient or as flexible as NATO, that's the whole point. Check out FM 100-2-1

This is all very challenging to accurately and "realistically" model in a game, I admit. If you don't account for NATO's qualitative C2 advantages over the Soviet numerical superiority, then that just unrealistically handicaps the NATO player and/or benefits the Soviet player. So yeah that's challenging in itself for this game but it's not how we trained IRL in the 1980's.


Thank you very much, it's really an interressing document. It help me to understand the scale and roles of the differents soviets "commanders" and what and how they "control" in the field ^^.

It's an interressing document for making scenarios too, as you can calibrate what sort of situations your regiment commander will encounter ^^

It look like the scale of FC:RS as a "regiment commander" is an interresing choice, as it have a staff of combined forces, control for exemple regimented arty and support arty, take his operationals orders from his division commander, has a advanced tactics training and was in charge of the tactics on the field. In FC:RS, you weren't in charge of operational warfare, just tactics as a part of a divison order. You have a "road" (a sector 10*25km in FC:RS), a force sized from a reinforced regiment to a brigade and operational orders to execute.

quote:

3-14:
After receiving a mission from the division commander,the regimental commander, assisted by his staff, makes an estimate of the situation [...]
The regimental commander controls his subunits by issuing combat instructions over the radio. These fragmentary
orders change, supplement, or elaborate on initial combat orders as the tactical situation changes.


This is what a regimental commander do, and what we do in FC:RS.

But I don't get your point: FC:RS alway simulate a "lack of flexibilty" for the soviets as it have tactically to move his entires companies (mech, tanks...) instead of issuing tactical orders to individual platoons commanders as NATO can?

Ant it's exactly what your document says:

quote:

3-16:
Company commanders also have the authority to transmit on the battalion nets. They have the. authority to call for supporting fire in combat, but such calls for fire normally are channeled through the battalion commander.
While Soviet tactical communications practices seem restrictive, they do appear to be adequate for the company commander's limited control authority, which normally is confined to fire control of his tanks and the deployment of his company in rehearsed battle drills


< Message edited by batteran -- 4/5/2015 10:28:41 AM >

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RE: How I learned to stop worrying and love Limited Or... - 4/5/2015 5:25:03 AM   
batteran

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: pzgndr

No, the Soviet C2 structure was not as efficient or as flexible as NATO, that's the whole point.
[...]
but it's not how we trained IRL in the 1980's.


An addendum: Maybe the C2 soviet structure in FC:RS doesn't feel that much of a "drawback", but let me tell a story:

I know a teacher that used to talk about the "advantages" or benefits of new programming langages like Java over old C & C++. But now, instead of talking of "advantages" of new langages, it say "characteristics" or features ^^ It took him some year to understand that...

Maybe the soviet C2 structure have more some "characteristics" than "drawbacks"? ^^ especially if you take in account the 80's NATO point of view over soviets in general?

< Message edited by batteran -- 4/5/2015 10:27:27 AM >

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RE: How I learned to stop worrying and love Limited Or... - 4/5/2015 11:52:57 AM   
pzgndr

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: batteran
But I don't get your point: FC:RS alway simulate a "lack of flexibilty" for the soviets as it have tactically to move his entires companies (mech, tanks...) instead of issuing tactical orders to individual platoons commanders as NATO can?


No there is flexibility to a point, but not as noticeably different than NATO. I tried to explain this in the other thread about the old Assault! game. Basically where NATO has Bn TOCs and Co HQs but Soviets have Regt TOCs and Bn HQs. Soviets compensate for fewer command points by executing Battle Drill, ie group order for stacks.

If you don't have something like that, then essentially NATO and Soviets have comparable C2 capability. NATO is then at a numerical disadvantage and will be overwhelmed. The equipment qualitative advantages are not enough to offset the Soviet qualitative edge; the NATO C2 advantages needs to be considered. It's a subtle thing. I'll have to consider the unit readiness aspect further; if Soviet units are more "fragile" than NATO units then this may be producing the necessary effect.

(in reply to batteran)
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RE: How I learned to stop worrying and love Limited Or... - 4/5/2015 12:21:27 PM   
batteran

 

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If I understand you, you have to play without limited orders to give to NATO the flexibility it "realistically" need. In that case, If you play a tank regiment of 3 companies, you can issue:
- Max 3 orders (one for each company) as soviet. (+1 batallion HQ)
- Max 3*(each company has: 3 plattoon + 1 company HQ) = 12 orders as NATO (+1 batallion HQ)

About the "fragile" soviets company sized battle drills instead of more flexible NATO plattons, I remember I read that in the manual:

quote:

DESIGNER NOTE: SURVIVAL
Complete units should not melt away in just a couple of minutes except in
catastrophically adverse circumstances. Rarely should the voluntary loss rate
exceed one vehicle per minute. All combatants are assumed to have residual
survival instincts and will modify their behavior once they come under fire.
They will not press on suicidal but rather will suffer a mission abort once the
rate of loss passes a certain threshold - which can be aggravated by the loss
of HQ vehicles. They will retire to the nearest safe location and reorganize
for another attempt. Exception: the less realistically trained the troops are,
the more ‘dash’ (voluntary risk assumption) they can be expected to show.
Virtually all troops in the Soviet-style will fall into this category initially.


Taking loss reduce readyness, maybe it's the mechanism you are looking at?

In FC:RS, the soviet companies easily take casualties: high concentration of forces only able to do classic battle drills without initiative and "dashy" are penalized this way too. (and taking casualties reduce readyness)

< Message edited by batteran -- 4/5/2015 1:28:39 PM >

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RE: How I learned to stop worrying and love Limited Or... - 4/10/2015 2:39:11 PM   
Jagger2002

 

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quote:

No, the Soviet C2 structure was not as efficient or as flexible as NATO, that's the whole point. Check out FM 100-2-1


I would love to see some of the French manuals from the 30s demonstrating with conviction the superiority of the French method to the German method.

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RE: How I learned to stop worrying and love Limited Or... - 4/10/2015 5:45:40 PM   
Mad Russian


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The point is that both methods have merit. It depends on what you are used to using.

Good Hunting.

MR

_____________________________

The most expensive thing in the world is free time.

Founder of HSG scenario design group for Combat Mission.
Panzer Command Ostfront Development Team.
Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.

(in reply to Jagger2002)
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RE: How I learned to stop worrying and love Limited Or... - 5/21/2015 3:03:17 PM   
mavraamides


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quote:

ORIGINAL: governato


- always, always use three waypoints when plotting a move. I can move/delete them later in the game without having to use an order.
- if I am not so sure how the action will pan out (that means almost always) and I am not i a super hurry, I set a delay on the last waypoint.



Awesome trick which solves one of my biggest problems. I've been trying to move my units to about their limit each order cycle and then giving new commands each turn. However, there seems to be a big delay every time new orders are given and I'm often having trouble reaching critical VP locations on time. This would solve that.

One question though:

With infantry, you have to tell it how early from your final waypoint to dismount. If you plot 3 waypoints with the idea that you can always delete the last ones in a change of plans, don't you risk having them mounted and vulnerable to enemy fire for the bulk of the plan?

(in reply to governato)
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