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Air Base Fuel Logistics in Command

 
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Air Base Fuel Logistics in Command - 5/5/2017 7:00:51 PM   
mikmykWS

 

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Hi All

Thought I'd put together an article on how to do this here:

Air Base Fuel Logistics in Command

Mike

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RE: Air Base Fuel Logistics in Command - 5/5/2017 7:52:58 PM   
CCIP-subsim


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Thanks for the article Mike, much appreciated, especially with the Lua examples!

I'm still obsessed with this idea of long-term scenarios in Command, so I've been exploring various ideas about modeling things like logistics - and I've been leaning towards the same conclusion, that a lot of these things are more elegantly modeled via events and special actions rather than juggling around supply units (unless they're actually central to the mission itself).

That said.... here's another idea expanding on the logistics (rather than simplifying)!

If a base is getting its resupply from somewhere offsite, create a target (or set of targets) simulating its supply route (a bridge, highway, tunnel, or pipeline). Create a script that checks its status - say, daily rather than constantly. If the supply route remains undamaged, every day the base will retain normal fuel status (i.e. aircraft are not put into maintenance status), and receive x number of weapons for its magazines if the check is successful. If the supply route is damaged/destroyed, the bases loses its supply (perhaps partially) and some of the aircraft are forced to stand down due to lack of fuel.

Or, for a more detailed version: create a supply route as above, but in addition to it, create a supply source/depot from which the base is supposed to receive its supply. Then, place a number of ammo/fuel trucks along this route, and create a support mission which cycles them between the depot and the base, through a route/choke point. Then, add the same kind of regular supply check, except now it checks not just the status of the route (bridge, tunnel, etc.), but also the trucks driving "through" it, as well as the depot they're delivering supplies from. The supplies received by the base on every supply check (e.g. every day) is based on the number of trucks operating on the route, modified by the damage status of the route, source depot, and the base itself.

Why all that? Well, now you have a logistics chain with multiple links, and you (or the enemy) can choose which of them to attack - which might be useful if one of those links turns out to be vulnerable. The base is likely to be the heaviest-defended, but if it depends on an outside source for supplies, you can cripple its operations without touching it - and in more than one way. For example, you can choose to hunt the supply trucks - destroy them all and the base has nothing to carry supplies to it. Or, you can attack the source depot - destroy the depot, or even just the fuel tanks attached to it, and there's nothing to deliver. Or, if you destroy the key bridge on the route, the trucks' mission becomes inactive and, again, no supplies get through.

This is too much detail for an average mission, but it's totally feasible with current Lua function, and if you wanted to have a mission where this kind of mechanics really mattered, it would be a very neat "choose your own strategy" decision for the player

< Message edited by CCIPsubsim -- 5/5/2017 7:54:31 PM >

(in reply to mikmykWS)
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RE: Air Base Fuel Logistics in Command - 5/5/2017 7:58:41 PM   
mikmykWS

 

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Wow nice idea!

Good news is now that we've got mag update lua we can also do more with weapons as well.

Mike



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RE: Air Base Fuel Logistics in Command - 5/5/2017 9:38:33 PM   
JPFisher55

 

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I have an idea on how to better model logistics, especially for long duration scenarios.

1. Consider all bases and ports in the side's country automatically supplied unless all ammo bunkers have been destroyed, then no a/c or ships can be armed. Or if fuel facilities all destroyed than no a/c or ships can be fueled. All bases and ports must have at least one ammo and one fuel facility.

2. For bases and ports, outside side's country, then they must receive so many tons of cargo (determined by developers in database), by ship or plane, from any port or base located in side's country, every three days to be able to arm or fuel a/c or ships. If adequately supplied, then they can arm or fuel any a/c or ship. If not adequately supplied, then they cannot until supplied. If a base or port loses all its ammo bunkers or fuel facilities, then it cannot arm or fuel a/c or ships as applicable.

3. Ammo of non-base or non-port facilities would not change. They could be part of a group with some ammo facility with their type of ammo or have a magazine with their type of ammo.

4. Ships could be armed or fueled from ports or replenishment ships like now. Maybe some ships' magazine loads should be increased.

5. Carrier aircraft would be supplied on carriers like now, but carrier magazines should be able to hold more munitions.

6. For short term scenarios, unlimited supply for carrier a/c should be an option. Bases and ports would have unlimited supply for short term scenarios since they would start fully supplied, unless their ammo or fuel facilities were destroyed.

Destroyed ammo or fuel facilities could equal those damaged level 30%? or more.

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RE: Air Base Fuel Logistics in Command - 5/5/2017 10:33:33 PM   
CCIP-subsim


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Actually, all of that can already be done with existing tools - it just requires a bit of scripting
I think it's best that it stays that way, and instead the game's editor and scripting tools continue to be improved - because truthfully, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to logistics.

Tangentially - one thing that might be neat to look into for the future of Lua/scenario editing - is perhaps the ability to import whole "packages" of pre-made event scripts. Where, for example, if someone wanted to import a pre-made logistics system, all they'd have to do is designate bases as sources/destinations of supplies, the types and amounts of supplies to be carried, and the types/numbers of transport units to create, with everything else (actual units, missions, magazines with supplies to be transported) being generated by Lua. Could apply to any kind of behaviour, of course! (e.g. if you wanted an integrated AD system, all you'd have to is designate nodes and coverage areas, and the types/numbers of air and surface units you want attached to each note - and have a script generate all the actual units and missions). Something to consider for the future, perhaps

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RE: Air Base Fuel Logistics in Command - 5/6/2017 8:56:44 AM   
Gunner98

 

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This got me thinking a bit. You could combine many of the ideas above and get fairly specific I think, and by using a mix of Lua and non-Lua bits it wouldn't be too hard:

Example set up:

Your base has 5 Fuel storage sites (you could work it out to K's of liters if you want.)
You could do this for ammo as well
Set up 2 counter sides one for fuel and one for ammo
Each time a facility is destroyed the appropriate counter is reduced by 1
Each time you resupply the base (trucks, ships, aircraft) the counter goes up (by 1 for a truck, much larger number based on tonnage for a ship etc)
The events that Mike describes are triggered by the status of the counter but could be gradual - Counter = 10 Squadron X goes onto maint, Counter = 5 Squadron Y goes onto Maint etc
The events would need to be reversible so one Action to put a unit to Main and another to put them to Reserve if the base gets resupplied.

Will need to try this out but it should work. The events would have to be repeatable which may be an issue, the time check trigger is (I think) still every hour so that may be an issue.

Great ideas.

B

(in reply to CCIP-subsim)
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RE: Air Base Fuel Logistics in Command - 5/6/2017 10:34:38 AM   
CCIP-subsim


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Another useful thing to throw into that would be special actions - where if the logistics-managed side is the player's side, the player would probably want to have some say in which squadrons they want to prioritize for refueling. That way the player could use a special action to decide which to use when.

And another interesting thought: since units do have fuel as a property assigned to them, would it be possible to just use that as the counter? e.g. have a fuel storage level set up at a depot, then a transport unit with x capacity will subtract x amount of fuel from the base storage every time it enters/gets near the depot and "fills up", then moves to the base and "empties" its tank, adding x amount of fuel to the base storage when it arrives. Then, if there is enough fuel at base to activate a certain unit/squadron, the player could "spend" the actual fuel in storage to activate those units. For a really "hardcore" solution to that, I suppose it might even be possible to force every unit into "maintenance" after each sortie, until the player puts some fuel into them.

That said, I still think that where moving parts aren't needed on the player side (i.e. when there's really no chance in the scenario that someone's going to hit any part of your supply line), but you still have limited resources, counters in the background and occasional decisions by special actions to distribute the resources you have are the best way to go. That way you might have some choice which units you want active and which you want stood down for the day, within limits, but you don't have to worry about "fueling up" your planes etc. for every single sortie!


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Post #: 7
RE: Air Base Fuel Logistics in Command - 5/6/2017 11:51:45 PM   
mikmykWS

 

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Joined: 3/22/2005
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gunner98

This got me thinking a bit. You could combine many of the ideas above and get fairly specific I think, and by using a mix of Lua and non-Lua bits it wouldn't be too hard:

Example set up:

Your base has 5 Fuel storage sites (you could work it out to K's of liters if you want.)
You could do this for ammo as well
Set up 2 counter sides one for fuel and one for ammo
Each time a facility is destroyed the appropriate counter is reduced by 1
Each time you resupply the base (trucks, ships, aircraft) the counter goes up (by 1 for a truck, much larger number based on tonnage for a ship etc)
The events that Mike describes are triggered by the status of the counter but could be gradual - Counter = 10 Squadron X goes onto maint, Counter = 5 Squadron Y goes onto Maint etc
The events would need to be reversible so one Action to put a unit to Main and another to put them to Reserve if the base gets resupplied.

Will need to try this out but it should work. The events would have to be repeatable which may be an issue, the time check trigger is (I think) still every hour so that may be an issue.

Great ideas.

B



Nice idea with the point thing. Lots can be done with that outside logistics.

Do you have a counter lua in a scenario yet? If so would like to grab it.

Need to look more into persistent Lua at some point as well. We need a way to check for stuff continuously but efficiently. Not sure how far folks got with that but will be helpful once done.

Mike

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Post #: 8
RE: Air Base Fuel Logistics in Command - 5/7/2017 1:42:50 AM   
michaelm75au


Posts: 12989
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Quick example of a persistent counter:
lastCount = ScenEdit_GetKeyValue("Counter");
lastCountN = tonumber(lastCount); -- convert to number
if lastCountN == nil then
lastCountN = 0; -- first time
end
lastCountN = lastCountN +1; -- increment
....
ScenEdit_SetKeyValue("Counter", tostring(lastCountN )); -- save the counter



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Michael

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Post #: 9
RE: Air Base Fuel Logistics in Command - 5/7/2017 2:12:53 AM   
apache85

 

Posts: 2325
Joined: 12/18/2014
From: Melbourne, Australia
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: mikmyk


quote:

ORIGINAL: Gunner98

This got me thinking a bit. You could combine many of the ideas above and get fairly specific I think, and by using a mix of Lua and non-Lua bits it wouldn't be too hard:

Example set up:

Your base has 5 Fuel storage sites (you could work it out to K's of liters if you want.)
You could do this for ammo as well
Set up 2 counter sides one for fuel and one for ammo
Each time a facility is destroyed the appropriate counter is reduced by 1
Each time you resupply the base (trucks, ships, aircraft) the counter goes up (by 1 for a truck, much larger number based on tonnage for a ship etc)
The events that Mike describes are triggered by the status of the counter but could be gradual - Counter = 10 Squadron X goes onto maint, Counter = 5 Squadron Y goes onto Maint etc
The events would need to be reversible so one Action to put a unit to Main and another to put them to Reserve if the base gets resupplied.

Will need to try this out but it should work. The events would have to be repeatable which may be an issue, the time check trigger is (I think) still every hour so that may be an issue.

Great ideas.

B



Nice idea with the point thing. Lots can be done with that outside logistics.

Do you have a counter lua in a scenario yet? If so would like to grab it.

Need to look more into persistent Lua at some point as well. We need a way to check for stuff continuously but efficiently. Not sure how far folks got with that but will be helpful once done.

Mike


I use keyvalues quite a bit in Seven Days in October, Tension, DEFCON and a bunch of other stuff are handled by keyvalues.

If you're interested in looking at the workings, the LuaInit, Game_KeyValues and Game_AICheck actions are probably the best examples.

(in reply to mikmykWS)
Post #: 10
RE: Air Base Fuel Logistics in Command - 5/7/2017 5:37:00 AM   
Gunner98

 

Posts: 4573
Joined: 4/29/2005
From: The Great White North!
Status: offline
quote:

Do you have a counter lua in a scenario yet?


No, have only used victory points and sides for counters. Michael's looks quite good though, will try it out.

B

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Post #: 11
RE: Air Base Fuel Logistics in Command - 5/7/2017 1:51:07 PM   
mikmykWS

 

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Perfect. Thanks guys!

Mike

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RE: Air Base Fuel Logistics in Command - 5/9/2017 11:33:31 AM   
AirForceSustain


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Mike, please let me know how well this is working. Lots of people interested in fuel realism.

Omar

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