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Battlefield Time Stamps-Redundant & Unecessary

 
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Battlefield Time Stamps-Redundant & Unecessary - 1/4/2018 8:03:27 PM   
osiris_slith

 

Posts: 240
Joined: 1/5/2007
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Hi All
This topic has been rehashed a lot of times and its battle field time stamps. I will do my best to explain why they are unnecessary and actually do more harm then good

BTS
The purpose of BTSs is to simulate the passage of time to prevent unrealistic battlefield movement. While this is necessary for any game the problem in TOAW IV is one of relevancy and plain bad mechanics.

Sample games with time management
John tiller Campaign Series-Each turn represents 6 minutes. I personally use a 15 minute per turn window based on the Avalanche press board game Panzer Grenadier when designing scenarios. The reason being is want to take full advantage of the game engines variable visibility option where you can start a scenario in early evening and transition to a night battle. The system is brilliant, simple and realistic and far better then what TOAW IV has.

Red Storm Rising
Passage of time in this game varies based on when you place your orders, communications check, supply check, battle complexity. While similar to TOAW IV the system is far superior in that the player cannot be penalized for a late unit move.

The 3 games above and there are far more example all operate on 1 basic rule of gaming. The passage of time MUST be simultaneous. A rule which TOAW simple violates and then complicates the whole thing with redundancies which make BTS completely unnecessary.

Why BTS are redundant
TOAW is actually a very realistic simulation of operation warfare that actually doesnt need the BTS because prior to combat a unit must under go the following

Morale Check
Supply Check
Communications Check

So lets look at each of these and how they make BTS completely redundant.

Morale Check-If the unit morale is average or more then the unit can execute either combat or movement. But what happens if it fails the morale check? Clearly if the unit FAILS a morale check the game system should render the unit NON EFFECTIVE as in not capable of executing combat.

Supply Check-If the unit fails a SUPPLY check then there are only 2 results it can generate. NOT COMBAT READY and INCAPABLE of MOVEMENT

Communications Check-As far as I can tell this is used to gauge a units level of cooperation with another unit as a Tactical reserve and this is VERY VERY critical fail for TOAW. If a unit FAILS a communication check in TOAW there is really no consequence. But if a Corp or Divisional commander DOESNT receive a order from higher HQ then that unit will NOT AND CANNOT MOVE to the designated assemble area, jump off point or retreat or objective.

For a operational level game there are already 3 systems in TOAW that should prevent a unit from taking part in combat or movement. Unfortunately there are no real penalties connected to the above 3 features.

BTS and Conflict with Design
Lets look at TOAW TGW 1941-1945 Eastern Front. The designer made this a 1 week per turn scenario. But wait! How does that work with 10 rounds of combat? It doesnt because that works out to 1 round equals approx 0.7 days. There is no such thing as 0.7 days of combat IN ANY PC wargame. The BTS are ignoring the fact that combat and movement together with passage of time are simultaneous. But one could argue well you didnt take into account LATE MOVES? I did! What would effect a late move for a combat unit?

Morale Check
Supply Check
Communications Check

Well what about extended combat? Well there' nothing about it because if your unit gets a bloody nose (FAIL MORALE CHECK), Runs out of ammo (Fails Supply Check) and/or didnt receive orders to continue the attack (Fails communication check) then the unit can neither attack or move.

and there you have it ladies and gentlemen all would be fine except in TOAW those 3 features have very little effect on the game. Units usually pass morale checks, pass supply and pass comm checks. If these 3 features have no real consequences then why even bother having them at all? BTS in effect already play this role.

Getting Around the BTS

This is fairly simple.
Move first-mobile units are better
DO NOT use the attack planner to execute combats. Choose the unit and right click for automatic attack (minimize losses)
Any enemy units that do not retreat or evaporate on automatic attack use the attack planner to plan deliberate attacks just before you end your turn.

The fact that you can simply shut the BTS nearly complete down is a clear sign the system is broken and not needed

Solution
So whats the fix? To get rid of the BTS we need 3 things + 2 with very real consequences. However the system would have to execute these in the proper order...

1-Communications Check
Any unit out of communication automatically does not recieve supply, replacements, nor can it move up, participate in attacks or execute deliberate retreats. Movement caused by retreats only.

Weather Check-Any unit caught in adverse weather such as rain, snow, floods will have limited movement. So if 48 Pz Corp is caught in a flood due to heavy rain then it may not have enough movement to exploit a breakthrough.

Morale Check-A fail means the unit cannot move or participate in attacks. Movement caused by retreats only.
Supply Check-A fail means a unit cannot move or participate in attacks. Movement caused by retreats only.
Heavy Combat Check-Any unit that loses 30% of its attack or defense value undergoes an immediate communications, morale, supply and weather check.

If these 5 features would have realistic and harsh consequences then the BTS would be completely redundant and it would make TOAW not only more realistic but more appealing and fun to play.

Final Word
In ALL OTHER PC wargames the assumption is that your units in the rear ARE NOT HAVING A DAY OFF! (because the passage of time is simultaneous..hence movement and combat are assumed as well) The problem in TOAW the assumption is your units are having a UNION mandated do nothing.

The player gets penalized because

A-they want to do the COMBAT rounds first which is human, natural, i wanna do the cool stuff first and boring stuff later like moving units up because the results of my attacks will tell me where my exploitation forces will go..but damn the BTS is there to prevent the movement of exploitation forces HENCE killing the breakthrough. The correct assumption as in ALL other PC wargames and all board games is that your units in the rear are MOVING UP because the passage of time is simultaneous. A rule which TOAW breaks.

have a nice day






< Message edited by osiris -- 1/4/2018 8:11:57 PM >
Post #: 1
RE: Battlefield Time Stamps-Redundant & Unecessary - 1/4/2018 8:55:22 PM   
Meyer1

 

Posts: 876
Joined: 2/9/2010
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quote:

ORIGINAL: osiris


Getting Around the BTS

This is fairly simple.
Move first-mobile units are better
DO NOT use the attack planner to execute combats. Choose the unit and right click for automatic attack (minimize losses)
Any enemy units that do not retreat or evaporate on automatic attack use the attack planner to plan deliberate attacks just before you end your turn.

The fact that you can simply shut the BTS nearly complete down is a clear sign the system is broken and not needed








"Move first-mobile units are better" Yeah it would be difficult to move the non-mobile units
Sorry, cheap shot

About the rest: I don't see how that is shutting down the BTS, I mean, of course since is the last round you don't care about the BTS but you could achieve the same result by attacking in the first round and then ending the turn... but the thing you want is maximize the number of attacks in your own turn, so by doing (one combat per turn)that you won't have much success.

Not familiar with the Campaign series system, is there anything fancy or just good old IGOUGO? Because you can get away with some of the turn based game problems with 6 minutes turns but that won't fly here.

< Message edited by Meyer1 -- 1/4/2018 8:58:55 PM >

(in reply to osiris_slith)
Post #: 2
RE: Battlefield Time Stamps-Redundant & Unecessary - 1/4/2018 10:08:33 PM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 11485
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Houston, TX
Status: online
I can't tell if this guy even knows what Battlefield Timestamps are. I suspect he is actually ranting about something else in the combat system - I just don't know what.

But, let's be clear: If, after the combat phase, we are going to advance the combat round to the MEDIAN combat's length instead of the LONGEST combat's length, there are going to be some combats that will have lasted longer than the resulting current round. Those combats must have Battlefield Timestamps. They are essential.

_____________________________

My TOAW web site:

Bob Cross's TOAW Site

(in reply to Meyer1)
Post #: 3
RE: Battlefield Time Stamps-Redundant & Unecessary - 1/4/2018 10:37:58 PM   
DanNeely

 

Posts: 489
Joined: 10/18/2005
Status: offline
Based on his suggested way to avoid them I think he's ranting about how overruns can smear lines of BTSes across the map while chasing a fleeing remnant; with a side of I Want WEGO.

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Is not [it] an eternal, imploring maiden, full of fire, with a burning heart and flaming soul, humanly warm and humanly beautiful?
--Zachris Topelius

(in reply to Curtis Lemay)
Post #: 4
RE: Battlefield Time Stamps-Redundant & Unecessary - 1/4/2018 10:40:25 PM   
osiris_slith

 

Posts: 240
Joined: 1/5/2007
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I do know what BTS are. And its not a rant. What needs to be kept in mind only and only TOAW uses time stamps like this. In my opinion they don't work as they are supposed to or rather I should say they in no way make the game more realistic. That fact that you can move units that fail a communications check (which means you CANNOT GIVE them orders to move or go into combat) is exactly what is accomplished by BTS. In fact if u remove morale, comm check and supply check u can still go to and fight well how realistic is that? In fact if u remove those 3 features there will be absolutely no significant change in game play.

Ive never had a unit in TOAW

A--that is not be able to move unless ive expended all my MF. Low supply high supply HAS ABSOLUTLEY no effect on movement and a bare minimum effect on combat
B--Makes little or no difference in comm check..because lets be honest..what are the chances of failing a comm check? Somewhere between almost never and never.
C--Morale check is non existent because it has really no effect on game play hence its basically ignored.

If these features are in the game then they need to have serious consequences. They don't and that's the problem. If they aren't going to effect game play then remove them. But if these features have harsh consequences in addition my propsed weather check and a heavy combat check..well then you don't need BTS. For example you can launch air strikes in all weather in TOAW. If your airbase is hit by a major storm and flooded you cant take off..but in TOAW that doesn't matter because you can an airstrike as long as their is clear weather over the target hex.

You can move a panzer unit regardless of a BTS when all routes are flooded by heavy rain.

Run this. You are ordered to move your Panzer Division 50km up and half way their a major rain fall hits and now all roads are mud. Now your unit cannot reach the assembly area at 200 am to launch a attack at 600am but your unit reaches the assembly area at 500 am..late yes but still just in the nick of time to launch a attack at 600am. The BTS is too simple. your late hence you cannot attack..Why?

BTS a very poor way of simulating time expended.


(in reply to Curtis Lemay)
Post #: 5
RE: Battlefield Time Stamps-Redundant & Unecessary - 1/4/2018 11:38:03 PM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 11485
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Houston, TX
Status: online

quote:

ORIGINAL: osiris

I do know what BTS are.


Kindly tell us what you think they are.

quote:

That fact that you can move units that fail a communications check (which means you CANNOT GIVE them orders to move or go into combat) is exactly what is accomplished by BTS.


No, that's not what it means. Communication checks take place during combat to determine if support units can provide support to the combat. It generally only applies to pre-WWII situations (pre-radios). And, BTS have nothing to do with that.

quote:

In fact if u remove morale, comm check and supply check u can still go to and fight well how realistic is that? In fact if u remove those 3 features there will be absolutely no significant change in game play.

Ive never had a unit in TOAW

A--that is not be able to move unless ive expended all my MF. Low supply high supply HAS ABSOLUTLEY no effect on movement and a bare minimum effect on combat


Supply scales a unit's movement allowance and combat strengths. (Non-linearly).

quote:

B--Makes little or no difference in comm check..because lets be honest..what are the chances of failing a comm check? Somewhere between almost never and never.


Again, this parameter only applies to pre-radio scenarios.

quote:

C--Morale check is non existent because it has really no effect on game play hence its basically ignored.


Morale checks take place during combat. They are used to determine if an attacker continues to the next round or drops out (or even goes into reorganization), to determine if a defender holds its ground or retreats (or even routs).

quote:

For example you can launch air strikes in all weather in TOAW. If your airbase is hit by a major storm and flooded you cant take off..but in TOAW that doesn't matter because you can an airstrike as long as their is clear weather over the target hex.


TOAW doesn't model grass airfields. Airfields are assumed to be concrete.

quote:

You can move a panzer unit regardless of a BTS when all routes are flooded by heavy rain.

Run this. You are ordered to move your Panzer Division 50km up and half way their a major rain fall hits and now all roads are mud. Now your unit cannot reach the assembly area at 200 am to launch a attack at 600am but your unit reaches the assembly area at 500 am..late yes but still just in the nick of time to launch a attack at 600am. The BTS is too simple. your late hence you cannot attack..Why?


?? Huh?

quote:

BTS a very poor way of simulating time expended.


I'm still pretty sure you don't know what BTS is about.

_____________________________

My TOAW web site:

Bob Cross's TOAW Site

(in reply to osiris_slith)
Post #: 6
RE: Battlefield Time Stamps-Redundant & Unecessary - 1/5/2018 1:05:04 AM   
Lobster


Posts: 3179
Joined: 8/8/2013
From: Third rock from the Sun.
Status: online
quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay

I'm still pretty sure you don't know what BTS is about.


This ^

Also does not seem to really understand the game. The OP needs to run though all of O. Klinks tutorials.

_____________________________

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"Getting back to reality...I'll only go as a tourist!"

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Post #: 7
RE: Battlefield Time Stamps-Redundant & Unecessary - 1/5/2018 7:44:29 AM   
Annabelle1993

 

Posts: 25
Joined: 12/6/2017
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quote:


I'm still pretty sure you don't know what BTS is about.


I agree with your observation.

Someone seems to have a hard time grasping how time flows. I remember people struggled when the TOAW III introduced combat rounds. Now BTS.

My suggestion? Read the god damn manual first.

(in reply to Curtis Lemay)
Post #: 8
RE: Battlefield Time Stamps-Redundant & Unecessary - 1/5/2018 8:14:07 AM   
Olorin


Posts: 996
Joined: 4/22/2008
From: Greece
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: osiris
A-they want to do the COMBAT rounds first which is human, natural, i wanna do the cool stuff first and boring stuff later like moving units up because the results of my attacks will tell me where my exploitation forces will go..but damn the BTS is there to prevent the movement of exploitation forces HENCE killing the breakthrough. The correct assumption as in ALL other PC wargames and all board games is that your units in the rear are MOVING UP because the passage of time is simultaneous. A rule which TOAW breaks.


This last paragraph tells me that you didn't understand what BTS does, no offense.

Without BTS, your exploitation force essentially jumped over the enemy AND your breakthrough force.

With BTS, your exploitation force actually WAITS behind the front(like it would in the real world), thus spending time (=movement points) until the breakthrough is achieved and then begins the exploitation.

_____________________________


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Post #: 9
RE: Battlefield Time Stamps-Redundant & Unecessary - 1/5/2018 4:27:06 PM   
Cabido

 

Posts: 237
Joined: 12/11/2017
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I find the concept of Time Stamp brilliant. Even if I never really got into ASL, it kinds of remember me ASL concept of "residual fire", which tries to compensate for the asynchronous character of sequential turn based moves. While "residual fire" deals with the consequences of fire exchange to units subsequently entering the same hex as units that were fired upon, as if they were there in the moment of firing, BTS deals with the consequences of combat that took place (partially) "in the future" with relation to units that didn't take part on it, putting them in synch.

(in reply to Olorin)
Post #: 10
RE: Battlefield Time Stamps-Redundant & Unecessary - 1/5/2018 9:22:43 PM   
Nicholas Bell

 

Posts: 549
Joined: 4/10/2006
From: Eagle River, Alaska
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: osiris
What needs to be kept in mind only and only TOAW uses time stamps like this. I


Not true, actually. The board wargame "Trial of Strength" by Panther Games introduced this in 1985. Movement was a function of time & unit type. Combat was a function of time and the size of the battle - the greater the number of units or intensity of the engagement, the more time was used. A unit moving a great distance (taking more time) might not be able to join a combat. Attacking from a single hex took less time than a multi-hex attack. The amount of time used in the battle was marked on the map with a counter. A unit could move through that hex, but had to have enough time (movement points) to expend to pay for the time the battle took. Anyway, it was a novel concept at the time and was too finicky for most and the system never caught on, although I thought it to be brilliant.

The TOAW BTS is a more refined version of this and is IMO an excellent method of improving the IGO-UGO system without going to WEGO or Realtime.

(in reply to osiris_slith)
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