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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul?

 
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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 11/17/2019 3:58:29 AM   
Perturabo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gratch1111

IRL during the 90s an art unit could fire 5 min before it had to pack up and leave, so within 10 min of first shot they had to be on the move. Now its worse, they are spotted as the first shell leaves and they have to leave. But back to 90s, Then they would take at least 10-20 minutes until they could fire again, move and setup the mount and target. This isnt taken into consideration at all in the game. My off map units can fire and then they are ready to fire on next target in 1,5 minutes.

Wow. That's brutal.

So, basically arty as it is is an arbitrary super-weapon where a 100 point gun can fire all it's ammo, including complete game-changers like smoke, dpicm and illumination without any danger to itself but a 250 point tank needs to be carefully manoeuvred to avoid destruction.

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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 11/17/2019 4:18:37 AM   
exsonic01

 

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My top picks to make more realistic and fun experience yet not too complicated without huge burden to devs for artillery:

1) At least show kill count of artillery units in AAR. Unit-by-unit kill record like WRD would be great and eventually I believe AB would follow to that way, but I guess that will take more time. So, with current style, just show kill list of artillery at least. I'm also curious how my arty calls are effective.

2) Whatever we do, let's keep current artillery support box in game, for now. I believe devs might bring better dedicated menu for fire support. But until then, let's use current simplified fire support box, which is rather simple and easy to follow.

3) Introduce CB icon, and introduce several frequencies for offmap artillery unit's mobility and maneuvering. Plus some delay times for initiate maneuvering, fire preparation and aim, and etc...

4) Differentiate rocket / SP tube / towed tube. I really wish to see distinguish of artillery by its level (corps, division, brigade...) but this will increase complexity and will take some time to describe. So, at least differentiation of type of artillery will be helpful for players to conduct better artillery missions.

5) It will be OK to depict the visual representation or sprite of offmap arty units and their maneuvering. But if this involves too much of coding hour than I'm not sure if it is worth it. I'm a person who suggest this (Show offmap artillery and artillery shells as bins or dots, just like Supreme Commander series). However, if this takes too much effort then I cannot say it would worth to invest limited resource to such 'eye candy' effect.


< Message edited by exsonic01 -- 11/17/2019 6:45:08 PM >

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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 11/17/2019 4:29:06 AM   
exsonic01

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Perturabo
Wow. That's brutal.

So, basically arty as it is is an arbitrary super-weapon where a 100 point gun can fire all it's ammo, including complete game-changers like smoke, dpicm and illumination without any danger to itself but a 250 point tank needs to be carefully manoeuvred to avoid destruction.

There is a reason why Stalin quoted "The artillery is a god of modern war"

If AB depicts the true doctrine of artillery units that would be great. Some consideration for gaming balance can make game enjoyable, but I wish to more stick to historical accuracy. (But basically I agree gaming balance factor should be there as AB is also a game)
But if it is unavailable to gather real cold war artillery doctrine and plans for individual artillery vehicles then I guess devs will try something approximated.

I think CB and time cost to maneuver, initiate the move, or set up will balance the artillery, and will balance AB.

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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 11/17/2019 8:05:38 AM   
ChortleBuffer

 

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Please don't spoil a wonderful game to appease a tiny minority. The developers should be sure that changes to the game will be attractive for most players.

If counter battery can be abstracted, so that a given percentage of units will be out of action (scooting), then raise the price of artillery accordingly. So, for example, if half of your units will be on the run then double the price of artillery and save us messing around with a boring mechanism. You can randomly destroy opposition artillery at a rate that simulates the capability of a given army, their doctrine, and the number of guns they have - assuming that the typical doctrinal proportion are dedicated to counter battery.

If some very knowledgeable artillery people want to create a counter battery game point them at kickstarter.

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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 11/17/2019 5:07:07 PM   
exsonic01

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: ChortleBuffer
Please don't spoil a wonderful game to appease a tiny minority. The developers should be sure that changes to the game will be attractive for most players.

If counter battery can be abstracted, so that a given percentage of units will be out of action (scooting), then raise the price of artillery accordingly. So, for example, if half of your units will be on the run then double the price of artillery and save us messing around with a boring mechanism. You can randomly destroy opposition artillery at a rate that simulates the capability of a given army, their doctrine, and the number of guns they have - assuming that the typical doctrinal proportion are dedicated to counter battery.

If some very knowledgeable artillery people want to create a counter battery game point them at kickstarter.

I also think devs have done great work, and I wish they will find the best option for AB. I just wanted to give some suggestions, and of course it is dev's decision to take what should be in or not. I don't mind if my suggestions are not reflected. If it is reflected, it is good. If not, then it is OK. I don't mind if they introduce CB in AB far later, as I already commented, considering the capability of 4-men dev team could achieve, any upgrade should be done one by one, step by step, with enough time for proper development and testing.

Like I said I really want to see something close to realistic but I also know and we all know that will not be possible, some sort of abstraction and simplification should be involved. I know that and I actually like such abstraction and simplification.

But I'm not sure if we can call CB or artillery system upgrade as "tiny minority" or "spoiling" as they should be one of the most influencing factor on the hypothetical cold war battlefield. That is why I believe, CB & introduction of features such as maneuvering of artillery units will balance the artillery system, by prevent arty-noob style game or prevent heavily arty oriented game. In current version of AB, if you play assault game, you could exploit arty + recon by purchasing a lot of them, especially if you play USSR in relatively small map or map with narrow corridor or too obvious defensive positions. Sometimes, you can win the game with tons of artillery and a lot of recons and small elements of mech infantry and tanks, by just calling endless rain of artillery. Also, UK faction in this game has some bonus on artillery reaction time, it is easy to win AB as UK when I bring good amount of artillery and spam recon infantry infiltration to detect enemy. I'm sure CB option will prevent such heavily-artillery-oriented game. But I admit it will not be an easy option to introduce in AB. Well, this is my opinion too. You have right to disagree to mine as well.

I'm not sure if price increase of artillery for CB is really necessary. I'm still not sure how the point price of artillery units are decided in AB, but if this game introduce the differentiation of rocket / SP tube / towed tube, then some price difference should be introduced among three artillery types.

Whatever devs decide, I wish the improvements of AB in positive direction. It doesn't necessarily need to be CB, but I'm saying CB (plus some other suggestions) might bring better AB experience. It is dev's call to follow or not.

< Message edited by exsonic01 -- 11/17/2019 6:51:34 PM >

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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 11/17/2019 6:31:46 PM   
Artillerist


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@chortlebuffer; Yes, obviously one of the most endearing aspects of AB is that you can turn it on, create a battle, and play. I think we all recognize and appreciate that AB isn't CMANO.

It's also pretty clear the devs are sensitive to the wishes and limitations of people like you that are reading these walls of text and concluding that a raucous minority is lobbying for the total annihilation of Armored Brigade's simple elegance by hosting informed debate about the future depiction of counter-battery and distinguishing the calibre of off-map artillery.

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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 11/17/2019 11:01:42 PM   
Gratch1111

 

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I think a small tweak could be to have time between when art is available. Its no that 1,5 min is to short time until impact when given order, its that there should be at least 15 min since the last fire mission was ordered. Then again the speed of the game is much faster than normal battle so mabee shorter, like at least 5 min until guns again becomes avalable

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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 11/18/2019 2:38:16 AM   
Perturabo


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I think we should also abstract away unit deployments and unit movements because they are a boring chore and spoil the enjoyment of the game.

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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 11/18/2019 1:46:44 PM   
22sec

 

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One way I have always looked at artillery given the current system is a 1/3 rule. I typically think to myself when building a scenario how much artillery would be available, let's say a Soviet assault has a regiment worth of artillery to support it, so in-game I purchase 1/3 of that. It helps simulate the limited availability of batteries which the current system cannot account for.

My vote has always been for bigger maps with all artillery on the map. In the past I created a Bm-21 on-map unit, and it was a thing of beauty to watch fire off all its missiles.

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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 11/18/2019 4:43:18 PM   
exsonic01

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: 22sec
One way I have always looked at artillery given the current system is a 1/3 rule. I typically think to myself when building a scenario how much artillery would be available, let's say a Soviet assault has a regiment worth of artillery to support it, so in-game I purchase 1/3 of that. It helps simulate the limited availability of batteries which the current system cannot account for.

My vote has always been for bigger maps with all artillery on the map. In the past I created a Bm-21 on-map unit, and it was a thing of beauty to watch fire off all its missiles.


+1

Bigger map + all on map artillery would be good too, AB can escape from all those issues of abstraction of off map arty. Plus, this can appeal to Eugen's Wargame franchise fans as the way of artillery control will similar with Wargame. How much do you think would be the proper maximum size? 30km x 30km or 25km x 25km? Some artillery will lose merit of longer range (like 203mms like Pion/Malka) but I guess something should be sacrificed for such feature. My personal wish is 25km x 25km, as 30km x 30km might too big.

If air-assault and heliborne troops are introduced, I guess such increased map size would be inevitable anyway. So I think this is really a good idea to increase total map size now.


==========================================================================================


At the same time, how about leaving the maximum play zone as 15km x 15km, but introducing add additional space of depth of 0~10km to West and East if game is West-East game, or North and South if the game is North-South game, as representation of artillery zone? Or, it might be possible to induce such additional space to all 4 directions (North South West East). But I think 2-direction representation might be better. Anyway, the key is, in such artillery zones, only artillery units can be placed, but I think artillery units should be able to maneuver inside battle zone as well. By letting artillery units able to maneuver battle zone and artillery zone, players and AI can depict the in-map arty (arty in FLOT) and off-map arty (arty in FEBA).

In this case, it can be assumed as 15km x 15km battle zone as FLOT, and additional spaces can be regarded as FEBA. There is no distinctive boundary between FLOT and FEBA in reality, and concept and size of FLOT and FEBA varies a lot. But let's just assume it for the convenience in AB.

If increasing map size induce burden to the game's speed or FPS, such "additional zone" approach might reduce the burden to game engine's memory spending and calculation amount. However, regardless of game speed and memory issue, I think introduction of FEBA might be a good idea.

Let the map selection give an option of applying FEBA zone depth of 0~10km. In FEBA zone, players can deploy recon, artillery, gunships and helicopters, airstrikes, and resupply station (if this game introduce resupply in the future).

Normal units cannot go into enemy FEBA or friendly FEBA, both deployment phase and during in-game. Only artillery and recon units can move in both FEBA and FLOT zone. Helicopters and gunships can fly and hover over any place of FEBA and FLOT. This issue can solve the current issue of small map: gunships are forced to engage in very close range in small map. From FEBA, gunships can use ATGMs from far without worrying about AA fire, even during 2km x 2km game. As such, FEBA idea would bring much realistic doctrine / operation of gunships, regardless of map size. Player and AI can place gunship BP inside FLOT and inside FEBA, this way players and AI can operate helicopters much realistic by switching long range ATGMs and short range rockets/guns. Right now, it is only possible to try such thing in big size games.

Allowing recons to infiltrate and move inside friendly & enemy FEBA would increase the importance of recon and counter recon. With improved AI for recon (which I suggested in https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4718276), this will make game much more interesting and dynamic, and will be more close to realistic description of recon tab infantry (recon, light infantry, and SF teams) and recon vehicles. Of course, heliborne for recon infantry should be allowed in FEBA zone.

Resupply station in FEBA zone will allow a better & realistic description of resupply operation. Of course, such resupply operation should be only allowed to "big size games" as FMs indicates such field resupply operation is only possible from battalion size. Let units can go inside FEBA zone only if its destination is inside resupply zone and resupply station. Units heading to resupply station only can use road network, not fields, and they can suffer traffic jam (use quick move algorithm for those movements) Or, movement to FEBA resupply station of 'normal units' can be totally automated by AI only to use road network (use quick move algorithm for those movements), and make player/AI cannot control units once the "resupply" button is clicked for target unit.

Such resupply station in FEBA will prevent unrealistic abusing of resupply, as units should escape from front line move to FEBA resupply station. This will create empty space on the line, so the decision should be careful. Some of SB Pro scenarios well depicted this feature.

Resupply station can be depicted as a group of trucks and ARVs. Let those vehicles available to purchase from support tab, only from total force point and map size is greater than specific number. But they should be only controlled by AI, like helicopters, by designating two or three resupply station point on the FEBA zone only near the road (within 2~3 tiles from any road) if there is road in the map. Let those resupply vehicles can be attacked and damaged by all weapons and artillery, air strike and gunship weapons. This way, players & AI will take more care about placing if resupply station.

My wish is increase play map to maximum 25km x 25km, or at least 20km x 20km and induce 0~10km depth FEBA zone. Well, this will depends on game engine's ability to depict such wide map.


To describe the "penetration" situation, let 'normal units' can move into opposite's FEBA zone once they reached the opposite end of the map. Once enemy 'normal' units move into friendly FEBA zone, then let friendly 'normal units' can go into friendly FEBA zone to counter enemy "penetration".

=======================================================

However, if things become too complicated due to FEBA concept, then let's just increase map size and make all units (including arty) as in-map units like 22sec commented. I'm just brainstorming for better description of battlefield.


< Message edited by exsonic01 -- 11/18/2019 5:06:28 PM >

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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 11/19/2019 7:17:28 PM   
Gratch1111

 

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I would rather have all artilleri off map, I do want a CB construct but in an abstract way, that way I dont have to move the art units. Instead I give some limits to how long they can fire, the system then calculates when the guns becomes setup again. The longer I have them firing the larger risk of CB, so its a tradeoff. Yes between 1/4 or 1/6 would be correct depending on system and transport since they do have to reload with ammo as well. At the same time, then you cant have it all available at the initial bombardment

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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 11/19/2019 9:05:23 PM   
Artillerist


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So we can't counter abstracted off-map units, and the *solution* is to subject ourselves to more off-map abstracted things that we won't be able to counter?

Seems pretty pointless to me. I can already abstract the primary challenges of an environment rich in counter-battery by purchasing meager amounts of arty, and modifying the ammunition quantities and response times in the database editor.

How much of a burden is it to order an on-map battery to fire a mission, and then move them when it's over? Or to see an enemy muzzle flash icon appear in the back of a map and choose whether to order a fire mission on it or not? It's so simple.

While people are asking for more abstraction we might as well abstract air defenses too. I hate having to bother with moving my air defense units into positions where they can adequately defend my main body, would be much easier to just click a button to activate an air defense god-shield for a length of time.

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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 11/20/2019 4:46:31 AM   
exsonic01

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gratch1111
I would rather have all artilleri off map, I do want a CB construct but in an abstract way, that way I dont have to move the art units. Instead I give some limits to how long they can fire, the system then calculates when the guns becomes setup again. The longer I have them firing the larger risk of CB, so its a tradeoff. Yes between 1/4 or 1/6 would be correct depending on system and transport since they do have to reload with ammo as well. At the same time, then you cant have it all available at the initial bombardment

This is somewhat close to FPC-RS option, plus give option for players to choose something like 'fire cycle'. Right? Looks like a good one and such all random option will require the least effort and manpower to work for devs.

However, proper RNG number will be very important otherwise all will be ruined. And some players will not convinced the result of RNG. Think of rouge-like games like FTL, and imagine the moment when the game RNG engine betrayed you. I really love FPC-RS but sometimes its all-random CB feels like a rouletting (only sometimes).

All you can do is praying for RNG god, no room for your tactically sound decision to involve in offmap arty's CB battle. This can be a serious issue in the far future, when MP is introduced in this AB. So I'm also not sure if such all-random approach is a good one. As a wargame, I think there should be punishment and advantage based on tactical decision.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Artillerist
So we can't counter abstracted off-map units, and the *solution* is to subject ourselves to more off-map abstracted things that we won't be able to counter?
Seems pretty pointless to me. I can already abstract the primary challenges of an environment rich in counter-battery by purchasing meager amounts of arty, and modifying the ammunition quantities and response times in the database editor.
How much of a burden is it to order an on-map battery to fire a mission, and then move them when it's over? Or to see an enemy muzzle flash icon appear in the back of a map and choose whether to order a fire mission on it or not? It's so simple.
While people are asking for more abstraction we might as well abstract air defenses too. I hate having to bother with moving my air defense units into positions where they can adequately defend my main body, would be much easier to just click a button to activate an air defense god-shield for a length of time.

Any wargame needs abstraction, and even several "hard-core" wargames can't escape from some form of abstraction and simplification. I guess real wargame simulators for real army staffs would have some degree of abstraction. Plus, coding is not that easy job. It really sounds easy when we brainstorm and suggest something, but when actually try to develop the idea and implement the concept via coding, things are not that smooth. Devs team is only 4 men team and the burden is real...

But fair points on your logic, especially about AA and others. Too much abstraction cam make game absurd, and will take out rooms for tactical decision which should be and can be punished or rewarded during game, and thus player's responsibility for his or her decision.

< Message edited by exsonic01 -- 11/20/2019 4:48:03 AM >

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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 11/20/2019 5:14:02 AM   
exsonic01

 

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I still think, maybe, introduction of FEBA option can be a good solution:

1) Leave max playable map size as 15km x 15km, but introduce 0~10km depth zone as FEBA. (I wish more depth and more size, but it will be a burden to game engine and memory management)

2) In FEBA, allow only
- Radar SAMs (As far as I know, some radar SAMs were never allowed to operate in FLOT zone)
- Artillery (Distinguish rocket / towed tube / SP tube)
- Recon (including recon vehicles, recon infantry, light infantry, and SFs)
- Helicopter BPs
- Airstrike target
- Resupply station (if resupply is introduced)
==> Among them, allow artillery, recon, and SAMs to maneuver in both FLOT and FEBA zone.
==> Maybe, in this case, it might be possible to allow to "paint" zones for players (like no-go zones) for possible maneuverable area across FLOT and FEBA zone, for artillery, recons and radar SAMs.

3) Do not allow 'normal' units to go into FEBA zone.
==> But in this case, it might be possible to introduce time-based-control or game-progress-control of unit's entrance to FEBA zone. Like, do not allow normal units in FEBA zone for first 1hr of the game, but allow later. Or, allow normal units in FEBA zone if one faction took 80% of VPs or 80% of any other future victory condition.

4) It might be possible to force artillery unit / radar SAM unit maneuver as totally automated AI control, to depict something close to 'off-map' arty. Just like helicopters in this game. Player sets 4~5 FPL or firing point location (FPL should be forced to be placed near road network or good mobility tile), at let AI decides route & speed of maneuvering (but it would be preferable to prioritize to use road and fast move). Players can only command when and where to move, and when and where to fire. In this case, FPL should be allowed to be placed in both FEBA and FLOT zone.
Meanwhile, recons should be full player control.

5) Or, it might be just better to leave all player control for artillery and radar SAM just like all other units.

6) Despite of using more increased map size when compared to current AB game, I still think that FEBA idea could less burden the core of AB code when compared to allowing full control of all units in the same bigger map. Because, all normal units will be inside FLOT zone and for this part, everything will be the same with current AB. Only calculations for arty, radar SAM, recons, helicopters... should be considered for FEBA zone. As such, this FEBA idea could less burden the game engine of AB.

7) For some scenarios and conditions (no artillery game or surrounded situation), such FEBA should not be allowed (so should be set as 0km). In surrounded scenario case or geometrically confined case, all radar SAMs and artillery should operate in the FLOT (or in-map in current AB system)


< Message edited by exsonic01 -- 11/20/2019 5:38:26 AM >

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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 11/20/2019 9:44:06 AM   
ChortleBuffer

 

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Artillerist

Thanks, I have recommended AB to many friends who don't normally play modern wargames precisely because it is so accessible. I am glad the devs are seemingly sensitive to this aspect of play. I play some complex games. But I don't play this particular game for complexity. In the way back when I used to play Challenger, Challenger 2000, which had a separate roll for target acquisition, hitting the target, formation of the penetration, reactive armour (if any), and then the result of the hit (often just suppressed after all of this).

exsonic

I wonder if the CB enthusiasts will be able to agree on a particular mechanism. You seem to be having fun discussing it, and more power to you.

I hope there will be an option to (a) turn the feature on/off (b) automate the process if it doesn't interest a player.

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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 11/20/2019 4:45:21 PM   
Artillerist


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@Exsonic: Imagine this;

Map size increased to 30km. You've got a brigade of combat power at your disposal. H-Hour is set. The brigade's direct support artillery battalion is settled into their AMAs, a few kilometers behind your FLOT. Further behind them is the artillery pushed down from division; a platoon of MLRS, and 2 Batteries of 155mm settle into their PAAs. The plan is simple, the artillery from division is going to begin by interdicting all crucial known targets in the objective area during initial movement to contact, and when finished, relocate and shift priority to counter-battery. Meanwhile the direct support FA battalion's batteries and the maneuver battalion's mortars are free to hit targets of opportunity and provide quick smoke during the brigade's movement to the objective/s.

Enemy artillery starts hitting you. The division artillery, having finished firing their initial prep and relocation are free to conduct your counter-battery fight. Red muzzle flash icons begin to appear in the rear of the enemy's sector. You plot your fire missions on the enemy muzzle flash contacts and hope the enemy hasn't relocated. As the fight drags on you start to see palpable effects of your counter-battery efforts manifesting in the form of diminished enemy artillery activity. You've maintained strict fire and move discipline and your own artillery remains strong. Slowly you're able to take and hold ground with less interference from enemy artillery, and your units, despite suffering losses are being provided with additional fire support as the need for counter-battery diminishes and your MLRS and additional 155mm batteries are able to shift priority to general support of your local critical fire support tasks. Your troops may be weakened but they're being hit less and what they've lost in manpower and equipment they've made up for in supporting fires.

The game ends. You open up the completely re-designed AAR complete with stats for all units, and breakdown of EKIAs by unit type, and start digging into the minutae. You analyze the effects and make your determinations for the future. "Hmmm... looks like my counter-battery 155mm howitzers didn't kill much, should have been massing on their targets instead of firing by battery. MLRS crushed it, I'll be sure to beg division to provide me a battery next time. My bombardment of "Objective Gettysburg" attrited the defending forces by ten percent, giving 2nd Battalion the overmatch they needed to successfully assault." Etc!

That's the future I'd love to see. Tell me that wouldn't be glorious!

< Message edited by Artillerist -- 11/20/2019 4:48:03 PM >

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Post #: 46
RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 11/20/2019 6:32:10 PM   
exsonic01

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Artillerist
@Exsonic: Imagine this;
Map size increased to 30km. You've got a brigade of combat power at your disposal. H-Hour is set. The brigade's direct support artillery battalion is settled into their AMAs, a few kilometers behind your FLOT. Further behind them is the artillery pushed down from division; a platoon of MLRS, and 2 Batteries of 155mm settle into their PAAs. The plan is simple, the artillery from division is going to begin by interdicting all crucial known targets in the objective area during initial movement to contact, and when finished, relocate and shift priority to counter-battery. Meanwhile the direct support FA battalion's batteries and the maneuver battalion's mortars are free to hit targets of opportunity and provide quick smoke during the brigade's movement to the objective/s.

Enemy artillery starts hitting you. The division artillery, having finished firing their initial prep and relocation are free to conduct your counter-battery fight. Red muzzle flash icons begin to appear in the rear of the enemy's sector. You plot your fire missions on the enemy muzzle flash contacts and hope the enemy hasn't relocated. As the fight drags on you start to see palpable effects of your counter-battery efforts manifesting in the form of diminished enemy artillery activity. You've maintained strict fire and move discipline and your own artillery remains strong. Slowly you're able to take and hold ground with less interference from enemy artillery, and your units, despite suffering losses are being provided with additional fire support as the need for counter-battery diminishes and your MLRS and additional 155mm batteries are able to shift priority to general support of your local critical fire support tasks. Your troops may be weakened but they're being hit less and what they've lost in manpower and equipment they've made up for in supporting fires.

The game ends. You open up the completely re-designed AAR complete with stats for all units, and breakdown of EKIAs by unit type, and start digging into the minutae. You analyze the effects and make your determinations for the future. "Hmmm... looks like my counter-battery 155mm howitzers didn't kill much, should have been massing on their targets instead of firing by battery. MLRS crushed it, I'll be sure to beg division to provide me a battery next time. My bombardment of "Objective Gettysburg" attrited the defending forces by ten percent, giving 2nd Battalion the overmatch they needed to successfully assault." Etc!

That's the future I'd love to see. Tell me that wouldn't be glorious!

Of course, your idea is dream of all wargamers who wish to enjoy hypothetical cold war in computer. I'm sure that it will be too glorious so that I will need to change my fully-wet pants every 30 minutes, I'm really serious.

But, for current AB, those ideas require too much things to implement. Advanced & detailed AAR, accurate description of formation and ORBAT including artillrey units... I think those are in the list of dev's future work but it will take a lot of time and resource to implement.
For example, I really want to see accurate description of formation and tree-like realistic order of battle like other computer wargames. (FPC or Command Ops 2) This will enables the differentiation of corps/division/reginement/brigade artillery units, and this will enables to better comtrol of company in this game, separating platoons from company. But currently in AB, concept of formation is very abstracted for easier coding. Fixing this will require huge amount of time and resources.
https://steamcommunity.com/app/1089840/discussions/0/3356799628310654481/
quote:


Well, sort of. When the system was made, there was few factions and only 1987 so company formations usually had just 9 or 12 vehicles. The idea was to get 20% point discount to offset worse coordination.
Ideally, the company should be made by listing platoons and sections rather than units, but it is a significant rework of the code and database. Plus the addition of some sort of Company AI behavior to coordinate different platoons as a part of a parent formation.

I think this was not a good idea to start in this way, but current AB is already designed way it is. Same goes to replay and AAR. Full replay like Eugen's Wargame franchise, or at least simplified replay using NATO icons for all unit types (SB Pro replay) + AAR & kill list like Eugen's Wargame or SP Pro style would introduce this game much much bigger sense of rewarding and immersion.

Unfortunately, it will take a huge effort to change this core of the game. So I think if we want to see those it will take really really long time. That is why I'm saying it would be better to start one by one, small by small. I also admit that my idea of "FEBA" would not be easy and will take a lot of effort, but I think those might be a doable within current AB's core engine and frame.

But again, don't get me wrong, I do wish to see such crazy and dramatic battle of hypothetical cod war. To my knowledge, there is no PC wargame for ground-battle oriented which could satisfy all of people like you and me in current market, isn't it?

- Using graphic of real units, not icons. Preferably 3D but 2D is fine.
- Proper & realistic & historically accurate formation and ORBAT. But allow players to make their own battalion / regiment / brigade size formation and ORBAT (in realistic fashion) and save such formations.
- Realtime or WEGO turn control (Current AB's round mod is also a good idea IMO. )
- Massive scale map which depicts 15km x 15km zone or wider.
- Ability to depict large scale battle, brigade or division scale if possible.
- Stick to historical accuracy.
- MP available.
- Detailed AAR and replay with time control of reverse and forward.
- Easy modding and modding support.
- Easy but realistic custom scenario and campaign builder.
- Dynamic and various mission objectives and battle types.
- Realistic engineering feature including bridge build and bridge detonation.
- Strategic arsenal with political consideration, like chemical, tac-nuke.
- Command delay and degree of communication strength.
- Realistic inter-unit information sharing.
- Proper description of recons, SF teams and light infantry, and ability to deep-behind-the-line operations for those.
- Depiction of many layer as possible, EW + ELINT + SIGINT, artillery war and CB, battlefield radar, and realistic thermal - smoke dyanmics and etc...

Such thing will be holy grail of PC wargame for tank/ground battle of hypothetical cold war scenario. Of course there should be abstraction and simplification, but covering of those features with proper abstraction would be enoufh for me, as we cannot 100% implement "literally everything" in game. But I never saw anything satisfy all of my wishes so I'm trying several different ones...

AB covers some of my wishes, but not enough. But I think devs of AB really try to improve as quick as possible even with their low manpower issue, which I really like, so I expect we will see better future for AB, maybe... and I wish AB fulfills my dream, at least for some from my wishlist.


< Message edited by exsonic01 -- 11/20/2019 6:47:58 PM >

(in reply to Artillerist)
Post #: 47
RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 11/20/2019 7:10:05 PM   
exsonic01

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: ChortleBuffer
exsonic

I wonder if the CB enthusiasts will be able to agree on a particular mechanism. You seem to be having fun discussing it, and more power to you.

I hope there will be an option to (a) turn the feature on/off (b) automate the process if it doesn't interest a player.

CB is not difficult mechanism to implement, it is just matter of choice. I'm just brainstorming and providing idea to devs but it is dev's call to choice one and I have no power to do anything.

I already listed reasons of why CB should be implemented in AB. I believe any "historically accurate" PC wargame for cold war or modern battle should implement CB of artillery. Impact of artillery on battleground is immense, CB will introduce additional tactical layer to this game and will balance artillery. I believe this concept is just too important and crucial to ignore in the name of simplification for the description of cold war or modern battlefield, so, unfortunately from this point you and my opinion will be parallel. Of course you have right to have different opinion from me.

But maybe automation of CB might be possible. I think my FEBA idea + automation of artillery control (like helicopters) will enable some sort of automation for CB but this will depends on devs.

< Message edited by exsonic01 -- 11/20/2019 7:11:05 PM >

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Post #: 48
RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 11/24/2019 10:46:05 PM   
Artillerist


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@exsonic
I can only imagine that detailed AARs must be tough for AB, otherwise we'd have them already, but for whatever reason; Steel Beasts Pro PE, Flashpoint Campaigns and Combat Mission all manage to both show indirect fire kills, as well as doing a better job of breaking down the actual data than Armored Brigade. The report file generated for steel beasts is incredibly in-depth, and is the gold standard in my opinion. Flashpoint Campaigns does a nice job of breaking down the stats by units and target type (including artillery and air support). Combat mission lists kills by off-map units to the Forward Observer's that called in the individual missions. Something about AB though, when you tic that 'indirect fire only' box in the database prevents the game from tracking killed targets.

As far as complexity of the mechanics behind on-map counter-battery; in the database there's a box for muzzle signature, which I imagine influences the possibility that a muzzle flash icon will appear in the absence of actually spotting a unit that's firing. In my quest to model a simple counter-battery function on my own, the logical path has always seemed to jack up that value for on-map fire support resources, ergo, every time a howitzer for example fires, it triggers a muzzle flash icon. Never had any luck though. Maybe I haven't set it high enough, maybe there are other limiting factors.

(in reply to exsonic01)
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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 11/25/2019 1:24:12 AM   
22sec

 

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I would suggest for on-map counter-battery it would be better if Juha could implement a system that detected the “tracers”. I think, knowing the program and the programmer, it could be accomplished. Plus being able to do that could lead implementation of Active Protection Systems, necessary for eventually bringing the database into the 2020’s. (😁Plus holy crap it’s almost 2020!!)

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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 11/25/2019 4:18:14 AM   
exsonic01

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Artillerist
@exsonic
I can only imagine that detailed AARs must be tough for AB, otherwise we'd have them already, but for whatever reason; Steel Beasts Pro PE, Flashpoint Campaigns and Combat Mission all manage to both show indirect fire kills, as well as doing a better job of breaking down the actual data than Armored Brigade. The report file generated for steel beasts is incredibly in-depth, and is the gold standard in my opinion. Flashpoint Campaigns does a nice job of breaking down the stats by units and target type (including artillery and air support). Combat mission lists kills by off-map units to the Forward Observer's that called in the individual missions. Something about AB though, when you tic that 'indirect fire only' box in the database prevents the game from tracking killed targets.

As far as complexity of the mechanics behind on-map counter-battery; in the database there's a box for muzzle signature, which I imagine influences the possibility that a muzzle flash icon will appear in the absence of actually spotting a unit that's firing. In my quest to model a simple counter-battery function on my own, the logical path has always seemed to jack up that value for on-map fire support resources, ergo, every time a howitzer for example fires, it triggers a muzzle flash icon. Never had any luck though. Maybe I haven't set it high enough, maybe there are other limiting factors.

I guess AB's code is not ready for such full scale AAR which we are seeing from other examples. I also do wish those, and this will depends on dev's schedule.

In somewhere, I read, in AB, recon helicopters (at night) can detect muzzle flash from enemy mortars if recon chopper is not that far from the mortar position. But I also never tried those options before.

quote:

ORIGINAL: 22sec
I would suggest for on-map counter-battery it would be better if Juha could implement a system that detected the “tracers”. I think, knowing the program and the programmer, it could be accomplished. Plus being able to do that could lead implementation of Active Protection Systems, necessary for eventually bringing the database into the 2020’s. (😁Plus holy crap it’s almost 2020!!)

Glad to hear that news, and I also believe all in-map artillery would be the ultimate solution for everything. Regarding your "tracer", I guess this will very looks like Eugen's Wargame style, is this correct? I wish if there is a way to deflect the quality of CB radar and each army's doctrine (ex: possible arty position icon size, renewal time frequency of possible arty position, etc). It would be also possible to comment cold war artillery doctrine in manual or something to suggest players. However, those idea might make game too complicated... So, I'm OK with "Wargame" type solution.

Good news about APS!! This would be a great game changer for any 2015+ games. But there are more things to be implemented for modern battlefield... Well, I wish they share us their road map, so that players would know what could be expected for future.

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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 11/26/2019 1:38:26 AM   
nikolas93TS


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I don't think code is unsuitable, it is just that we never thought about implementing such a detailed AAR. It is more of work on UI than on engine itself.

Regarding on-map artillery, I know what you two wicked guys are up to! You want bigger maps, because current scale is not suitable for ranged weapons over 15km.

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Post #: 52
RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 11/26/2019 10:05:02 PM   
Veitikka


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Would it bring easement if in the AAR window next to the 'Lost' number there was (Art: X) to show the number of casualties caused by artillery/mortars (if there has been any)?


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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 11/26/2019 11:52:44 PM   
Artillerist


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@veitikka it absolutely would bring easement!

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Post #: 54
RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 11/29/2019 8:21:59 AM   
Veitikka


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Artillerist

@veitikka it absolutely would bring easement!


We experimented with different UI solutions, but in the current simple AAR view it would look very out of place to have the artillery kill numbers crammed there. I think they will need to wait until we have a more detailed AAR mode in the future.


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Post #: 55
RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 11/29/2019 5:33:17 PM   
Artillerist


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@veitikka This brings me much sadness! I'm holding my North Africa Mod hostage till we get movement on this!




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< Message edited by Artillerist -- 11/29/2019 8:42:34 PM >

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Post #: 56
RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 11/29/2019 8:09:59 PM   
exsonic01

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Veitikka
We experimented with different UI solutions, but in the current simple AAR view it would look very out of place to have the artillery kill numbers crammed there. I think they will need to wait until we have a more detailed AAR mode in the future.

If AAR screen is not possible, how about just showing artillery kill list from OOB screen only?

It would be great if you could include broad "artillery" inside OOB.

If that is not possible, then would it be possible to regard all artillery kill as HQ kill (this option is what FPC-RS using) and show all artillery kill to the player HQ's score or the most top HQ's score? I mean, inside OOB screen.

< Message edited by exsonic01 -- 11/29/2019 8:10:38 PM >

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Post #: 57
RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 11/29/2019 9:24:45 PM   
Gratch1111

 

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I really dont care if I see kills by tanks or art, even if I understand the point. CB is a much more desirable feature to make the game more realistic, next would be different types such as light, med, heavy and MRL/MRLS of different types

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Post #: 58
RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 11/30/2019 12:08:41 AM   
jwarrenw13

 

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I would prefer to keep artillery abstracted as much as possible. I think that as the combat commander on the ground at the level the game is played, you are usually not moving artillery or ordering counter battery fires. You are usually just calling for artillery, and it is either available or not and shells either arrive or don't, and you have little direct control over that. I could see artillery support assets being better defined. I can see a chance of not receiving request artillery support put into the game. I can see other abstractions. I would rather not be moving artillery around on the screen or fighting the artillery counter-artillery battle myself.

(in reply to Gratch1111)
Post #: 59
RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 11/30/2019 12:44:51 AM   
exsonic01

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: jwarrenw13
I would prefer to keep artillery abstracted as much as possible. I think that as the combat commander on the ground at the level the game is played, you are usually not moving artillery or ordering counter battery fires. You are usually just calling for artillery, and it is either available or not and shells either arrive or don't, and you have little direct control over that. I could see artillery support assets being better defined. I can see a chance of not receiving request artillery support put into the game. I can see other abstractions. I would rather not be moving artillery around on the screen or fighting the artillery counter-artillery battle myself.

I think movement of artillery can be abstracted and automated even when they are visualized on the map. I guess it might be also easier for devs to use rotational wing control model for artillery units:
- 1) Set 3~4 firing positions.
- 2a) Set frequencies for firing and maneuvering for each artillery platoon / company.
- 2b) Or let players decide when to move among firing positions for artillery platoon / company, just like gunships in this game.
But this requires larger map size. 20km x 20km or 25km x 25km. If such huge map is hindered due to game speed or calculation amount, then my FEBA idea would be good too. This way, artillery units can be modeled and visualized in here, but player would have minimum burden for artillery control. This way, current artillery support command box still could be used.

But this might depends on the doctrine. Artillery units are trained to
1) Halt the move on the road
2) Prepare and fire even in the middle of the road,
3) Fire, and move full speed again.
So... instead of setting up fire positions, maybe it would be better to introduce "fire" button and "move" button in the artillery support command box, for each artillery platoon / company. In this case, "firing positions" would be the same "BP" like helicopters but just for artillery. "Move" button will initiate maneuvering of selected artillery units (platoon / company) along the road or fastest route. "Fire" button will initiate the set up / aim / firing process for selected units. Target setting of artillery would be the same for current method, player or AI draw the box on the map.

============================

I respectfully argue that counter battery, and reward / penalty of tactically sound decision regarding counter battery and artillery maneuvering should be introduced in AB. Otherwise game will flow to arty noob style game, and every one will spam recon infantry and huge amount of artillery, depending on terrain and scenario. Current AB AI cannot try this neither counter this, and things will become serious if MP is introduced in the far future.

For CB, Eugen's Wargame style (showing tracer/bin of artillery shell can be used for counter battery) is a good option. However, I wish to suggest that it would be better to use current AB's style, by implementing new icon of "signature of artillery", something similar with current icon for "muzzle flash / sound signature", the circle of yellow dashed line. Maybe it would be possible to introduce something similar for artillery, something like circle of orange dashed line with explosion icon in the center. Let size & position accuracy of such "artillery signature" circle decided by:
1) Distance from the closest friendly units including recon (recon helicopter have a bit more bonus)
2) Sound contact or visual contact of enemy artillery firing.
3) Existence of operating counter battery radar.
4) (If CB radar was operating then) Performance / accuracy of counter battery radar.
Considering CB radar performance, it would be better to introduce specific amount of enemy artillery shot, assuming the minimum enemy artillery amount to triangulate or estimate enemy firing position. We can assume that this "required time / salvo number for CB targeting" would be shorter as technology develops. If we cannot find any technical data sheet for such "required time / salvo number", I insist that it should be OK to assume those numbers for this game, as we will never going to get classified data.
This "time delay for initiation of CB fire" can be modeled as delayed appearance of "artillery signature" circle icon, assuming the time requirement for computer or FDC to calculate / triangulate the position of enemy artillery. In this case, CB-moded artillery units don't need to wait or delay to initiate CB fire, as such delaying feature is already represented in delayed appearance of "artillery signature" circle icon.

Player or AI can select artillery platoon / company and set them as CB mode. Once the "artillery signature" circle appears on the map (orange colored dashed circle with explosion icon in the center), then let CB mode artillery units engage against them after specific amount of time (this time delay can be set by artillery doctrine or CB radar performance or FDC's estimation based on recon's observation). Let CB fire target the center of "artillery signature" icon. Let player/AI set the size for CB fire box. If CB mode artillery units were moving, then they would require more time to set up and fire CB mission. Assuming the communication failure or CB radar malfunction, let's give slight chance of CB-moded artillery units not reacting against "artillery signature".

I guess the use of "artillery signature" circle, similar system with current "fire signature" circle, would have merit of easier coding as two systems are similar in description. But "artillery signature" circle would require CB radar data part, but I think this should not be terribly difficult for Juha if enough time is given (I trust you ). But finding or estimating possible data for artillery control, maneuver, fire preparation time, aim time, etc... would require some book reading or data searching.

============================

But again, I'm also OK with full control of artillery units (I enjoyed this option during Eugen's Wargame franchise experience). I'm just suggesting something for the option of "indirect control" of artillery units.

Regarding minimum number of artillery for control, how about forcing one section as the minimum arty unit? Currently in AB, inside the artillery fire control box, player/AI can manage artillery guns one by one, by each individual gun level. I'm not sure if this is correct doctrine. If AB could make this "possible minimum artillery units for control" as section level, it would be easier to code and describe the artillery operations.



< Message edited by exsonic01 -- 11/30/2019 1:47:03 AM >

(in reply to jwarrenw13)
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