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Micro Management or AI Control of Units

 
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All Forums >> [New Releases from Matrix Games] >> Flashpoint Campaigns Series >> Micro Management or AI Control of Units Page: [1]
[Poll]

Micro Management or AI Control of Units


All AI - So I can focus on the battle, not each tank.
  6% (2)
A few general SOPs during setup, but then hands off
  15% (5)
A handful of SOPs at any time, but still some AI control
  30% (10)
Change SOPs at any time, but rely on AI control
  33% (11)
Many SOPs at any time and very minimal AI control
  9% (3)
All SOPs all of the time. I love to micro-manage!
  6% (2)


Total Votes : 33


(last vote on : 7/29/2019 4:49:06 PM)
(Poll ended: 7/31/2019 7:00:00 AM)
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Micro Management or AI Control of Units - 7/15/2019 7:23:57 PM   
CapnDarwin


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One thing a number of players wanted in the new game engine was more "direct" control over the behaviors of sub-units. While that works in some cases, the more you try to control every action the less the game becomes about being the overall commander focusing on the flow of the overall battle. So the "Cold War Question of the Week" is this:

How much control should the player have over the behavior/SOPs (Standard Operation Procedures) of the units in the scenario?

Comments Welcome!

_____________________________

We are hard at work on Southern Storm and Pro work to support the warfighters.

Cap'n Darwin aka Jim Snyder
On Target Simulations LLC
Post #: 1
RE: Micro Management or AI Control of Units - 7/15/2019 11:42:42 PM   
z1812


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You could take the top 2 and make them options to the way the game is now.

(in reply to CapnDarwin)
Post #: 2
RE: Micro Management or AI Control of Units - 7/16/2019 3:54:16 AM   
exsonic01

 

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I'm not a big fan of super micro management. To me it feels like professional RTS games, where a player with higher mouse APM (action per minute) + multitasking has a great favor. I think wargame should be the one where sound tactics and strategy should be rewarded, not ones with high APM but poor tactical or strategic decision.

Some degree of control is needed, but too much micro management is not realistic IMO. When real platoon leaders issue an order, they never micromanages his or her squads leaders and platoon members to exactly follow like RTS gamers do to his units (forward 10m and turn the corner, left turn at 4m and engage against 3rd from the left enemy...). Rather, leaders give objectives and missions to his or her platoon members. Command should be precise and compact, but should be enough specific for squads to understand and follow. Depending on the situation, it can be sometimes very detailed, but not like micromanagement of other RTS games.

FPC-RS abstracted actions inside 500m sized hex, level of micromanagement is very limited anyway. Actually, I was thinking that FPC-RS is not in the region of micromanagement games, right? I was thinking FPC-RS is kinda doing good so far, in terms of unit management. But I still thinking that sometimes the burden of issuing orders to each units are too much. Especially when I play as Soviet, I need to issue a lot more orders than NATO, and playing Soviet costs more time to set up the game at the initial phase.

I'm advocate of mission-oriented control, not action-oriented control like Starcraft. I know it is really hard to depict such control using known algorithms, but I guess such smart and realistic mission-oriented-control would be the eventual converging point of any realistic wargame in the future, with the help of AI (Also RTS games too). I don't think FPC-SS should follow idea of mission-oriented control right now if source code is not prepared, but if it could mimic or follow such control in low degree by some good idea, it would still be great. But this is just my opinion, don't take this too much seriously.

Plus, some level of automation would be great to unburden the micro. All of individual maneuvers like shoot and scoop would be abstracted in 500m hex, but something like
- SAMs automatically move their position after engagement, and after specific amount of time (give good default number and let users set)
- HQ units automatically moves to 2~3 next time after specific amount of time (give good default number and let users set), even in supply state.
But this maybe make games too easy, I mean, any veteran or smart players should know that they need to move their HQ regularly, and I think such tactically sound thinking of players should be rewarded. So, some automation should be carefully considered, not to harm the distinguishing line of good player and bad player.
- If artillery falls, units in hex in bombardment automatically attempt to full-speed escape to right next hex (regardless of status), with better cover, only if such movable hex exists. If there are no hex with better curve, then do not move. If the unit was in the middle of engagement, let players decide what should be prioritized under artillery. Escape to other hex? or stay covered and engage against enemy ground target.
- Infantry automatically moves to nearby hex with larger cover, if they dropped in open field.
- Give SOP option for units to frequent resupply to prioritize the readiness management (even with good readiness, like 60~70% readiness condition), or prioritize battle and overwatch action to increase fire rate and accuracy.
Those are just examples, there should be more. I think some level of smart automation would decrease the necessity for micromanagement for players. Or, introduce such automation options to players as SOP and let player decide how much degree the player wants to use the automation.

Also, maybe overall delay time could be declined a bit. Most of the frustration I felt during FPC-RS was the unit reactivity, sometimes they are too slow. I understand all is abstracted in 500m hex, but I'm not sure if such slow reaction is really realistic, Sometimes I felt command delay situation was too harsh. Maybe it would be great to distinguish all possible factors for delay time and show to players, so that players can see & understand what causes the delay and what they should do to reduce delay.




< Message edited by exsonic01 -- 7/16/2019 1:37:58 PM >

(in reply to z1812)
Post #: 3
RE: Micro Management or AI Control of Units - 7/16/2019 2:34:39 PM   
CapnDarwin


Posts: 7995
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From: Newark, OH
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Exsonic01, safe to say that we will never be a RTS game.

_____________________________

We are hard at work on Southern Storm and Pro work to support the warfighters.

Cap'n Darwin aka Jim Snyder
On Target Simulations LLC

(in reply to exsonic01)
Post #: 4
RE: Micro Management or AI Control of Units - 7/16/2019 2:37:14 PM   
wodin


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From: England
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If AI is good enough I'm even happy with first choice, though I picked Number 2.

I hate micromanagement and I love to watch well orchestrated AI in action responding to the situations in a realistic manner without the need of constantly holding their hands. That way your pixeltruppen become mindless icons on a PC screen.

_____________________________


(in reply to exsonic01)
Post #: 5
RE: Micro Management or AI Control of Units - 7/16/2019 4:42:40 PM   
76mm


Posts: 4618
Joined: 5/2/2004
From: Washington, DC
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I actually haven't played this game for some time, but when I did, I remember watching the turns play out like a movie. Maybe not for everyone, but I thought it was pretty cool.

(in reply to wodin)
Post #: 6
RE: Micro Management or AI Control of Units - 7/16/2019 6:36:02 PM   
exsonic01

 

Posts: 1048
Joined: 7/26/2016
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quote:

ORIGINAL: CapnDarwin

Exsonic01, safe to say that we will never be a RTS game.

I know it will, I just wish to point out that too much micro management may takes out the fun of wargaming.

I guess "some level" of player control would be great which rewards the sound tactical and strategic decision. Plus, good AI and good automation scheme which helps players to concentrate on tactical decision would be perfect.

But too much automation would takes out the fun of tactically sound maneuvering, some level of user intervention might be needed. But I guess it can be achieved by just tweaking of current system of RS, for example, like allow users to set/change movements or actions for each point of waypoint.

Thank you for your great works~! I can't wait to see any SS info.

< Message edited by exsonic01 -- 7/16/2019 6:40:16 PM >

(in reply to CapnDarwin)
Post #: 7
RE: Micro Management or AI Control of Units - 7/23/2019 8:02:52 PM   
MaxDamage

 

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All AI for simple units.
But maybe arti needs some better management because the consequences of counter battery can be dire.

(in reply to exsonic01)
Post #: 8
RE: Micro Management or AI Control of Units - 8/1/2019 12:05:58 PM   
Zakalwe101

 

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I think it is a question of hats , when playing NATO at the start of scenario I put myself in the position of the task force commander, deciding upon how I will execute the accomplishment of the task set for me, deciding what my battle plan will be. I assign each battalion and company under my command their role in the execution of that plan, making alterations to their OB as their task demands and my assets permit. I then put on the hat of the Battalion/Company commander assigning each platoons function in the execution of my part of the plan, which will include initial placement of platoons to create kill sacks, delay points etc. I don’t drop down to platoon leader to decide who digs what foxhole and where and what tank sits where and has how many alternate firing positions, I don’t think the game at its present scale would support that, not with a 500m hex. (which already presents issues of facing and visibility)
Once the game commences I move back up the hat stand to the top position, using the Artillery and air assets , and reserves to influence the unfolding battle , rarely venturing to lower levels, may be to intervene at a troubled point on the battlefield where moving or keeping in place Tank platoon can mean the difference between winning and losing.
What I don’t want is to be encumbered by decisions when to move or not to move to HQ units , they really should be deciding for themselves they have stayed transmitting too long from one place, or scooting an on board artillery battery that has been firing from one place too long. The game as it stands I think does these things well already. I need to trust my subordinates to do the right thing according to doctrine and SOP.
What I would like to see is a bit more player control in terms of the AI decision making in terms of how it decides on what are priorities to shoot at. I find it frustrating and unrealistic to see my M1A1 shooting at BMP’s 2500m away and essentially ignoring the T80u bearing down on them at 1500m, yes the M1a1 can kill the BMP’s but simply prioritising them over the T80u is wrong on two levels 1, the M1A1 priority is to kill Tanks, secondly as a tank crewman I’D be more concerned about the tank Killing me than the BMP that can’t. Regardless of the % chance of killing the BMP is greater than the T80u the tank is always going to be the one that is most likely going to kill me so that’s what I’d be shooting at. I’d like the opportunity to set at the scenario start some basic target priorities, If I know I have air assets at the start or arriving I’d like the message to go down to my fighting platoons , “priority targets are Soviet AD” , or if I know I have none then send the message “don’t waste ammunition on the them.” Similarly if I have minefields then priority targets are Soviet mine ploughs, same applies to bridging equipment. These adjustments will enhance my ability to execute my battle plan. If I plan to hold the soviets up on an obstacle line then destruction of soviet combat engineering assets is a priority.
Any adjustments to the game should enhance it’s model of being a game of task force command, if any controls can added that will enhance that ability to design a battle plan and see it executed successfully or not is a good thing.
For example I’d like to be able to tell units to hold fire unless fired upon, particularly relevant for recon, (I need to know as task force commander where the enemy are, where they are going and in what strength. I want my recon screen seeing without being seen and not advertising their presence by an ill advised ATGM shot at a whole company of tanks, dead scouts tell no tales. I want to be able to tell my recon to kill soviet recon but if the Soviet main force is in sight then then stay hidden.
Or I send a AH unit by a most circuitous route to strike at known Soviet Artillery but half way there they bump into a resting, decimated Soviet tank Battalion, presently there’s a good chance the AH unit will stop, expend all it’s ammunition on the resting tanks and the strike on the Soviet artillery goes uncompleted – friction of war you say, hmmm may be but I think that I at least want the option to tell the AH unit artillery is your priority for this mission – nothing else that I think is not unrealistic.
I know that many have posted they wish the artillery model reworked, all I’d like is to be able to mix fire missions, at present up to three missions can be planned but I can’t mix a smoke mission with an ICM mission, followed by a harassing fire mission. This isn’t I submit micromanagement, this is what the senior Artillery officer at the task force HQ has to do, manage competing demands for fire missions, Artillery is the task force commanders most important asset in influencing the battlefield ( along with use of a reserve) so should be modelled accordingly, equally the battery commanders can be AI controlled in terms when to scoot, when to scoot and resupply etc.
In short I want more player control of the sharp end of things – who shoots at what and when, everything else, e.g displacing HQ Artillery & AD etc , resupply can be left for the AI

(in reply to MaxDamage)
Post #: 9
RE: Micro Management or AI Control of Units - 8/2/2019 2:47:37 PM   
AustrianOak

 

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I missed voting in the poll but I still would like to offer my thoughts. To preface myself, I play exclusively against human opponents, with between 75 to 100 games completed; have over 250 hours logged in the game, and I don't leave the game running when I am not actively playing it.

I think the infantry and tanks are well modeled. The only improvement I would like to see to line units is to have an order to fire one or two times then fall back. Maybe that could be an option in the movement delay menu. Instead of giving a time between movements to rally points, you could also select something along the line of 'harassing fire then withdraw to next rally point'. Currently, you would attempt this by setting a time delay and hoping it is correct; or giving the order to the unit once it is already engaged, which adds so much delay to the order that you are better off letting the units stay hull down and fight it out.

I find support units to be the most difficult to use as intended. As stated above ADA and HQ units simply need to move every now then for their issue to be fixed, and I am not even fully decided whether or not I should continue to move the units myself or if I want an AI script doing it for me; and in other posts by the Dev team, artillery is already being overhauled. Aircraft, both fixed-wing and rotary-wing, are by far the most difficult to use properly.

First off, jets need to be in a separate FSCC. Artillery doesn't need to wait for ADA locations to be determined and/ or eliminated, jets do if you want them to live for more than one mission. To effectively counter battery and use direct support, I need to have the FSCC on but that also means the AI will send my planes on suicide missions. The simple separation of jets and tube arty will solve that issue.

Helicopters are on a whole different level. As it stands right now, I would rather have more of ANYTHING else than have more than platoon of helicopters as part of my OOB -- I think they are wasted points. Helicopters can be killed by MG's, autocannons, dedicated ADA, and even artillery. The only way to counter all of this is to stay moving; however, that seems to be the last thing helos want to do. When helos have multiple way-points, skirting the edge of the enemy formation to get to the flank or rear, a platoon of M113 50's firing at max range is enough to stop them in their tracks and have the helos fire off all their missiles and rockets for 14 minutes while arty knocks them out of the sky in 5 to 10. If you are lucky enough to get where you want to go, you can stay there for no more than 9 minutes before arty lands on top of you. Helos require as close to micro managing as I can get in this game if I want to use them effectively. To fix these issues, I suggest that helos ignore ground fire while moving from anything less than dedicated ADA units, where they would then cancel their way-points to get out of the line of fire; have better masking to way-points; and use a 4 hex way-point (1000m^2) to rotate around and stay moving until stopping for a minute or two to fire before moving again.

I hope my suggestions make sense and can help the great Devs of this game make decisions on how to better model the functions of different unit types.

(in reply to Zakalwe101)
Post #: 10
RE: Micro Management or AI Control of Units - 8/3/2019 5:27:41 PM   
WABAC

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: z1812

You could take the top 2 and make them options to the way the game is now.


I missed the poll. I seem to have less time for gaming in retirement. Not quite what I expected.

Anyway . . . If I wanted to issue an order to recon troops to not to shoot unless shot at, which choice would I have made?

(in reply to z1812)
Post #: 11
RE: Micro Management or AI Control of Units - 8/3/2019 7:09:00 PM   
OldSarge


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I don't have a problem with the current level of control. There are only a few times where I really micromanage a particular unit is in positioning a section of recce/scouts to be exactly where they'll do the most good, or to adjust the movement paths assigned during a group move..

That being said, I would like to see a robust system of SOP and ROE added to better inform the AI as to what it should or shouldn't do, and who it should prioritize for engagements. Nothing is more frustrating then having PROFOR's tanks obsess over some recce vehicles while OPFOR moves armor in for the kill.

_____________________________

You and the rest, you forgot the first rule of the fanatic: When you become obsessed with the enemy, you become the enemy.
Jeffrey Sinclair, "Infection", Babylon 5

(in reply to WABAC)
Post #: 12
RE: Micro Management or AI Control of Units - 8/5/2019 3:07:36 AM   
exsonic01

 

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Not sure if those are related with player/AI control issue, but let me write some features I discussed in this forum in the past. Some are overlap with suggestions I wrote above:
1) Move HQ units automatically at user input regular time intervals (or once / twice per each turn) during game. Frequent move will increase survivaility, but also decrease number of possible command to issue and decrease the readiness.
2) Move SAMs automatically at user input regular time intervals (or after each shot). Too frequent move will increase survivaility, but also decrease the readiness.
3) Give SAMs an option to control the on/off radiation. Off the radiation will save SAMs from ARM airstrikes, but radar SAMs without radar will not going to engage enemy airplane or rotational wings. (As far as I remember you guys were thinking to introduce "bar" for SAMs, for users to control radiation on/off frequency, I think that is good idea.)
4) Give recons an option to control the aggressiveness or will to engage. Recons in this game cannot "turn off" their main weapon so sometimes they engage and expose their position, which is not tactical. (Like SAMs, I think you guys also suggested an option of introducing bar, from non-engage to fully-engage, to control aggressiveness of recon unit, right? I think this option should be introduced to all units)
5) Option to select & modify waypoints after waypoints are set. Instead of canceling order re-issuing order, such option will enhance the flexibility of units & control, and will take out burden of players to command. (Sometimes canceling and re-issuing order takes huge amount of time & effort and mouse clicking)

There were more like 'reverse move' command, but I can't recall them now. Anyway, I really wish new FPC-SS save the concept of AI control, yet increase some flexibility & open some rooms (such as an automation option or SOP or some via direct unit control) for players, so that units don't attempt any stupid or tactically bad movements.

(in reply to OldSarge)
Post #: 13
RE: Micro Management or AI Control of Units - 8/17/2019 8:10:31 PM   
GiveWarAchance

 

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I like having a lot of AI control available.

< Message edited by GiveWarAchance -- 8/22/2019 5:45:06 AM >

(in reply to exsonic01)
Post #: 14
RE: Micro Management or AI Control of Units - 4/17/2021 11:27:05 AM   
mensonchino

 

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I am for manual control whenever possible (HOLD waeapons!)
It is too good to be able to decide what to do, on a tactical level.
I am aware that, in complex scenarios, not all actions can be handled manually, because we can't be multitasking...

(in reply to GiveWarAchance)
Post #: 15
RE: Micro Management or AI Control of Units - 4/17/2021 1:34:17 PM   
fluidwill matrix

 

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I'm not sure how this got necro'd but for what its worth here's my 2 cents;

I'd like something that uses our current restriction in orders but allows me (the commander) to reach in with those orders at any node in the command net so I'd like to have to chose (with my limited resources) whether its more important to click an HQ unit and say "take your force and defend/attack this area with this level of ferocity [AI control] or click that tank platoon and say "hull down HERE, dont fire on anything that isan't an MBT" [micro] the command decision is mine and I have to "spend" my "command focus" where and when I feel it most useful to win the battle.
So what I want is, from the safety of my keyboard, some simulation of crouching in the back of an APC, working with incomplete info, already out of date, trying to coordinate all those wonderful weapons at my command in time and space so that my opponent who is doing the same thing gets a bunch of firepower in the face and I don't. Whether that involves me telling an Armoured Cav Company to screen "up this road" or dialling up some fire support and screaming at them to "hit this crossroads with everything RIGHT NOW" thats my decision and I'd like the winning/losing to kind of be related to those decisions.
My 2 cents, can't wait for Southern Storm W

(in reply to mensonchino)
Post #: 16
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