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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul?

 
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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 11/30/2019 12:47:33 AM   
Artillerist


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Everyone should step back, google and download (for free) FM 6-20-50, FM 6-20-40, FM 6-20-20 and ATP 3-09.42. What is and isn't realistic and applicable to the Brigade and Battalion fights can't be honestly discussed if you haven't read these manuals first.

< Message edited by Artillerist -- 11/30/2019 1:03:36 AM >

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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 11/30/2019 11:49:30 AM   
Gratch1111

 

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I agree with not moving art, it should be abstracted

I agree with CB being automatic = Art not being used should automatically be CB. Effect of CB should be based on how long you as a player decides the art to fire before it moves(this is a setting before the game starts set in minutes, the longer the time the bigger the risk of CB and this can be adjused by the programmers based on timeperiods and country)

As I said before I think art should be offline between firing when they move and reload which means that the player sometimes doesnt have art - Just like you said

We should however be able to move mortars and there should be different kinds of art, light, med and heavy since the effect is very different

105mm 19kg
122mm 25 kg
152mm 40 kg
155mm 43,5-47 kg = 3mm bigger gun = 10-20% heavier grenade
175mm 66,5 kg
203mm 100 kg

Size matters

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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 11/30/2019 8:23:51 PM   
Artillerist


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Okay @gratch1111 so assuming they choose to implement counter-battery as an off-map apparatus-- how will it interface with on-map units? If I have my counter-battery god shield activated will it target enemy on-map assets like mortars and howitzers? Will my on-map assets be targeted? Or are they immune from this counter-battery layer?





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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 11/30/2019 9:20:53 PM   
Gratch1111

 

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You cant have everything, so im afraid the CB will only target the off map artilleri. However that is the most dangerous artilleri anyway so I would say that it takes care of 90% of the problem. If it were me I would make the on map art an "off map" thing as well. And then when you enter the art support screen you can choose the kind of guns to use, so not just how many guns but which type for which mission. I really like the off art usage its very easy, I would just add the option to choose the gun type. Also, only med and heavy art + MRL/MRLS would be available for CB fire.

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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 11/30/2019 11:46:25 PM   
exsonic01

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gratch1111
You cant have everything, so im afraid the CB will only target the off map artilleri. However that is the most dangerous artilleri anyway so I would say that it takes care of 90% of the problem. If it were me I would make the on map art an "off map" thing as well. And then when you enter the art support screen you can choose the kind of guns to use, so not just how many guns but which type for which mission. I really like the off art usage its very easy, I would just add the option to choose the gun type. Also, only med and heavy art + MRL/MRLS would be available for CB fire.


My suggestion was based on the assumption of description of artillery units and icons on the map, but just matter of implementing full control to arty units like Eugen's Wargame Franchise, or slightly modifying the AB's indirect way of helicopter control and implement it for arty. In this case all artys are "in-map" artillery units (whether my "FEBA" idea is used or not) I think they should be called as "inmap" arty if they are described on the map, even though player or AI cannot directly control, isn't it? Suggestion of "inmap" arty but with "indirect control" would make a room for players to communicate to arty units for their tactically sounding maneuver, but automated processes will hugely decrease the burden of micro for players.

I'm not sure if "offmap" artillery with huge abstraction would be a good choice for tactical game eventually in the future. Of course this will be much easier to code, and will looks simple. But in this case, RNG number will decide the life and death of off map artillery against CB. Players and AI might be allowed to set up some frequency numbers, but since all is off-map, it is still true RNG number will decide the fate of artillery. This is one of the feature I was not a fan of in FPC-RS's CB system. In FPC-RS, depending on scenario, in-map and off-map artys are existing together. You set the CB to any arty against enemy inmap or offmap arty, and RNG will only thing to ruin yours and pixeltruppen's day, no room for your tactical decision can be involved yet artillery is very powerful and important to battlefield. I'm not sure if this system is really a good idea. At least I don't like it.

However, I must admit if the current game code has a limit to depict larger map size, then maybe we may not be able to escape from offmap arty system. (But in this case my FEBA idea would be helpful to depict inmap arty with automated indirect control, with less computational burden)

< Message edited by exsonic01 -- 11/30/2019 11:53:13 PM >

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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 12/1/2019 12:24:44 AM   
Gratch1111

 

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I have no problem with on map artilleri as a concept, however how the mortars are used makes me wary. They cant move and you only fire two guns at a time. Your concept could work if you can group the units yourself, like 3 mortar sec to fire at one target, or an art battallion of 18 guns, and they move after firing on their own. If you have art radar or equivalent you could then see art positions and fire CB hoping that the unit havent moved. But you would still have to set how many rounds to fire before they move and the AI would need to calculate how long after first shot I would be able to spot where they are. It could be better, more realistic, but it runs the risk of micro management if not done right

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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 12/1/2019 1:04:52 AM   
exsonic01

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gratch1111
I have no problem with on map artilleri as a concept, however how the mortars are used makes me wary. They cant move and you only fire two guns at a time. Your concept could work if you can group the units yourself, like 3 mortar sec to fire at one target, or an art battallion of 18 guns, and they move after firing on their own. If you have art radar or equivalent you could then see art positions and fire CB hoping that the unit havent moved. But you would still have to set how many rounds to fire before they move and the AI would need to calculate how long after first shot I would be able to spot where they are. It could be better, more realistic, but it runs the risk of micro management if not done right

I only used SP mortar units so I have no idea about infantry mortar units. I thought they can move on foot in this game, aren't they? When I was active I saw 60mm, 81mm, and even 4.2 inch guys carrying those on foot... 4.2 inch is designed to be operated in vehicle, but sometimes those poor dudes had to run with that big gun

CB radar would be much more accurate than sound method, but still would only show rough estimation, not a pinpoint of the enemy arty. As far as I know even modern CB radars cannot "pinpoint" the exact location of enemy arty, like within 1 meter error. Cold war era CB radars would only estimate broader area of possible arty position. For the representation of "rough idea of whereabouts" of arty units, it might be possible to increase the size of "artillery signature" icon. In current "fire signature" yellow icon, the center of icon does not means the location of enemy muzzle flash or source of gun sound. Same can be applied to "artillery signature" icon, the center of such icon wouldn't be the location of opponent arty, but all area should be regarded as possible arty position. Size of this icon can be decreased by advanced CB radar or if recon was close to enemy arty position to help FDC to correct the CB radar's data, or recon was watching enemy recon to feedback to HQ and FDC.

I was also thinking of introducing delayed appearance of "arty signature", as a representation of calculation time and communication time. This time delay might be decided based on CB radar's technical spec or each faction's arty doctrine. But if such information is not available, then some estimation on this time delay should be made.

I think such inaccuracy & delay time of CB radar or by sound method to find opponent artillery would balance the CB to prevent OP CB to kill all arty when activated.

Oh well, if such options are too complicated, then I would say Eugen's Wargmae style description with full player/AI control of arty would be better, showing the "tracer" or "bins" of artillery projectile which can be used to estimate the firing position.


< Message edited by exsonic01 -- 12/1/2019 1:51:53 AM >

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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 12/1/2019 1:54:29 AM   
Gratch1111

 

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No they cant move, stupid.... 81mm can be carries, 107 I dont know but 120mm mortars no way:)

SE/NO/UK + nations has Arthur now, it tracks the grenades/rockets and based on trajectory they can pinpoint the firing position down to 60m, at least the 1994 version now hthere are more modern ones, however until 91 they werent that good. I can also imagine that since the whole thing runs on computers it took a lot longer and not so accurate in the 80s and before that I dont think they were any good at all, then they probably used sound visual etc, but I do know that our mortars, 80s, as a rule never stayed more than 10 minutes after firing first shell due to CB from the Sovjets. So since they werent SP they could only fire for 7-8 minutes and then they packed up and left in two minutes tops, they were very good at that, One of the things they practiced over and over and over again. Thank good I wasnt in that unit:)

I like your idea, Im just afraid of the micro when it comes to moving and firing the guns.

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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 12/1/2019 2:20:16 AM   
exsonic01

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gratch1111
No they cant move, stupid.... 81mm can be carries, 107 I dont know but 120mm mortars no way:)

Well, I'm not sure why you call me stupid. But two decades ago when I active, I did saw lads with 4.2 inch mortar, 106mm RR, and automatic GL (something similar model with Mk19) carrying those on foot, and reassemble. They all were supposed to operate with vehicle of course, but they did trained to disassemble, carry on foot part by part, then reposition & reassemble to prepare any emergency situations. Each steps had some time limits to finish. So yeah, I can say for sure they were able to move on foot in reality. I believe this would be the same for now. 81mm and 60mm is supposed to move on foot from the beginning.
I didn't know in-game infantry mortar can't move on foot as I always use SP mortar units. But if that is true, devs should fix them to possible to move on foot.

quote:


SE/NO/UK + nations has Arthur now, it tracks the grenades/rockets and based on trajectory they can pinpoint the firing position down to 60m, at least the 1994 version now hthere are more modern ones, however until 91 they werent that good. I can also imagine that since the whole thing runs on computers it took a lot longer and not so accurate in the 80s and before that I dont think they were any good at all, then they probably used sound visual etc, but I do know that our mortars, 80s, as a rule never stayed more than 10 minutes after firing first shell due to CB from the Sovjets. So since they werent SP they could only fire for 7-8 minutes and then they packed up and left in two minutes tops, they were very good at that, One of the things they practiced over and over and over again. Thank good I wasnt in that unit:)

CB radar exited and operated from Vietnam war.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AN/MPQ-4
I'm not sure about spec of this machine, but it seems manual of this radar is available from google. Google for "Operator's Manual for Radar Set AN/MPQ-4A" I guess those are declassified as they become too obsolete... I think this might be a good beginning point. Operating doctrines of mortar and artillery from vets like you would be helpful too, share your story to devs more. But of course, don't share them if they are still classified.

quote:


I like your idea, Im just afraid of the micro when it comes to moving and firing the guns.

I think amount of micro would not be too much with such "indirect control" method for artillery, if devs develop a good automation algorithm based on their current helicopter control system.

If AB introduces the system of all-in-map-arty with full control of arty to players/AI (like Eugen's Wargame style), then that will increase the micromanagement requirement. But I'm OK with that option too.



< Message edited by exsonic01 -- 12/1/2019 2:23:17 AM >

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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 12/1/2019 3:01:53 AM   
exsonic01

 

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Modern CB mission example:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombardment_of_Yeonpyeong
https://www.stratfor.com/sites/default/files/DigitalGlobe_North_Korean_Attack_11-.23.pdf

https://youtu.be/BUPWVpbFrYg
https://youtu.be/NTtf1eWyoe0
RoK government and DoD official historical record for this incident.

https://youtu.be/aieFoXBjdaY
RoK news report KPA shot 400 rounds to the island.

https://youtu.be/bPSiaC9P2SY
Smartphone record from one of the resident on the island. You can hear KPA artillery sound too.
https://youtu.be/DOGTsxh7WAE
Another smartphone record from island resident.
https://youtu.be/TpG82ISK7Eo
Another smartphone record from island resident 2.

https://youtu.be/TA3AKig6d7w
3 yrs later, official RoK marine officer interview about this incident, introducing after action report.

https://news.naver.com/main/read.nhn?mode=LSD&mid=sec&sid1=100&oid=022&aid=0002207345
Internet news article.

CB radar was not operational on that moment due to scheduled check up. So RoK marine arty operators fired back to possible KPA artillery position by calculation based on pre-determined position. KPA started fire from 14:34, and RoK fired back from 14:47. Without CB radar and considering all units were suppressed due to sudden enemy artillery, I guess 13 minutes of reaction time was not that bad. Rather, I think it was good enough fast reaction.

< Message edited by exsonic01 -- 12/1/2019 3:04:32 AM >

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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 12/1/2019 3:48:00 AM   
Gratch1111

 

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Im not calling you stupid:)! I called the idea that you cant move mortars stupid!!

I believe you about carrying, I just said that I know that 81mm was carried and since we didnt have 107mm I dont know, but you are correct a mortar can be disassembeled into smaller pieces while some weighing 60-70 kg or more I believe. We did have RCL, not sure they could be carried but I know they had wheels they could put it on and drag it.

Not classified any longer, havent been commisioned for 15 years.

Nice "talking" to you and Im not for abusing people so If you think I am, just ask as you did, sometimes something sounds right in your head as you write it but the reader sees something else:)

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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 12/1/2019 4:15:39 AM   
exsonic01

 

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OK, well, I'm just a player and moder, and I know my idea cannot be perfect, I'm just suggesting and throwing new idea for better game. I also welcome any discussion with you or other people with different point of view, because such discussions would help me and all of us to catch missing points or prevent the idea to flow into possible loophole.

Anyway, I guess indirect control of artillery + visualization of artillery units & icons might work with good automated control algorithm. But I also think there might be a problem which I'm missing. I wish devs find a good solution for artillery.

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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 12/4/2019 7:16:59 PM   
Artillerist


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I've also tended to use howitzers and mortars that I've created or modded myself, so the inability of heavy weapons to move has been less an issue for me. Obviously though rectifying this issue for heavy weapons should be a priority. As the Computer is handicapped without being able to exploit this.

I think it goes without saying that the on-map fire support would definitely need movement, method of engagement/fire and control improvements before even thinking about a transition to a predominantly on-map fire support system, if that were in the cards. I brought that up in March.

End of the day I think most people agree that:
1) artillery/mortars/rockets whether on-map or off-map should be subdivided by calibre.
2) improvements should not sacrifice simplicity or lead to excessive micro-management.
3) Artillery ammunition attributes should be moddable in the database

In my opinion that's a good non-controversial place to start (err umm after arty kill counts!!!!!)

I'm on the fence with counter-battery, even as much as I absolutely love the principles and tactics behind waging a clever CB fight, and strongly believe it's an integral part of brigade operations.

People tend to look at it as an obstacle to responsive fires, which it might indeed become depending on implementation, but that's not at all how it needs to work.

NATO units during the cold war trained to fight outgunned and outranged. That meant more ground and air radars, integration of fire support personnel at all echelons to improve coordination, greater mobility and displacement discipline, digital communications and fire and control, expensive sensors to improve efficiency as it related to TLE, and obviously GPS which allowed greater dispersion, and efficiency.

In my opinion the counter-battery system should be built with space to allow the various factions to authentically play to their strengths, or at least overcome their weaknesses.

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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 12/5/2019 1:16:52 AM   
Perturabo


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I'm playing with on-board artillery-only in my mod. It's pretty nice. The only problem is that there is CB radar so I have to use air support to find/destroy enemy guns. Though I managed to infiltrate a recon team far enough to spot some of them a few times.

Personally, I think that in larger engagements, deploying and manoeuvring units is incomparably more bothersome than managing artillery and CB fire would be.

_____________________________

People shouldn't ask themselves why schools get shoot up.
They should ask themselves why people who finish schools burned out due to mobbing aren't receiving high enough compensations to not seek vengeance.

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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 12/6/2019 5:57:22 PM   
Artillerist


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@perturabo totally agree about arty management being easier than maneuver management. Was surprised people pushed back on that.

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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 12/7/2019 6:37:20 PM   
exsonic01

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Perturabo
I'm playing with on-board artillery-only in my mod. It's pretty nice. The only problem is that there is CB radar so I have to use air support to find/destroy enemy guns. Though I managed to infiltrate a recon team far enough to spot some of them a few times.

Personally, I think that in larger engagements, deploying and manoeuvring units is incomparably more bothersome than managing artillery and CB fire would be.


I guess this is related with player's mouse speed & multi tasking ability. During my experience in W:RD, I saw a lot of players forget about their artillery & mortar control because they were too busy with control of units on the front line. Then they get punished by opponent's CB. I was one of the person who loved to punish arty noobs with CB fire or deep strike SF elements.

I'm OK with full direct control option. This system (direct control of arty) is already proven to be OK in many other games. Current AB has no MP yet, so burden of micro for arty might not too huge. However, I also understand for some players don't like it.

Mouse click speed and multi-tasking is not related with tactical decision of commander on the real battlefield. Rather, it is more of RTS-world issue, player's reactivity and sense of performing multiple tasks at the same time. Then, a player with faster mouse speed & multi-tasking brain will win any games. But we all know real army field commanders don't babysit their artillery units to where to move after shoot. It is artillery commander's job. Real world commanders don't get punished just because they forget about maneuver of artillery. At this point, the game become more close to RTS not traditional wargame...
AB is single play only game for now, so burden of such micro would be small for now. But if MP comes in, this will cause the same criticism which WRD received from realism wargame fans.

AB already abstracted helicopter, minimized the direct control of helicopter for players. At first I didn't like this. But from some time I like this option and I think this totally make sense, because control & maneuvering of helicopter is performed by pilots, not by commander on the field.

That is why I think indirect method of artillery, just like helicopters, might be the best option for AB. Artillery units will be described like other units on the map, but players have very limited control on artillery. Maneuvering of artillery is controlled by AI, but players can set firing positions (just like helicopter's BP). CB and shoot and scoop maneuver is performed by AI, let players only can set tendency of artillery as aggressive or defensive, or frequency of shoot and scoop. Decision of fire is performed by players, current fire support control box can be used.
If this option requires too much computational resource, then let's introduce "FEBA" concept, might be able to reduce some computational burden due to enlarged map.

Indirect control have several distinctive merits:
- a) Description of artillery units with their graphics and proper maneuverability = realism.
- b) More realistic description of artillery control. You cannot spam artillery due to CB and movement of artillery like we do in current AB. This will also involves tactical decision of players, as players need to find the balance of maneuvering and fire support = balancing + motivation to players.
- c) As a field commander, players can and should concentrate their effort on the control of front line units. This is more realistic description of battlefield than full-control of arty, as artillery maneuvering is decided by artillery commander = realism.
- d) Does not require any fast mouse click speed or multi-tasking brain of RTS players. Any wargame fans who don't like RTS-ish feature will like this option. (And RTS players will like this option too, as players still need to micro your units on the field.) This will make AB artillery easy for new players = less steep learning curve and easier difficulty.
- e) Current fire support box still can be used = less steep learning curve and easier difficulty.



< Message edited by exsonic01 -- 12/7/2019 7:18:45 PM >

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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 2/7/2020 8:09:13 PM   
Artillerist


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This is all I want--->





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RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 5/10/2020 8:47:07 PM   
nikolas93TS


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After reading several hundred pages in FM 6-20-20, FM 6-20-40, FM 6-20-50 and ATP 3-09.42 and additional half a dozen other manuals, my brain is even more confused. Particularly on the eternal dilemma on how to balance between simplicity and playability on side, and accuracy and realism on another.

I think we all can agree on having different artillery calibers.

I am proposing this classification by artillery caliber and weight of projectile for game purposes (not historical):

  • Light: including all calibers up to 90mm
  • Medium: including all calibers up to 127mm
  • Heavy: including all calibers up to 160mm
  • Superheavy: including all calibers from 160mm upward

    This categorization will allow us a greater flexibility in differentiating capabilities and even roles (simulating for example regimental / division / corps level artillery units). I recommend individual system modifiability both as a weapon and as ammunition.
    US artillery manuals in particular take into consideration naval gunfire of any caliber as a special category. Due to its flat trajectory, terrain masking affects naval gunfire more than field artillery. Naval gunfire also results in large range probable errors (the dispersion pattern of the naval gun is roughly elliptical with the long axis in the direction of fire).

    What we all also agree on, is that rocket artillery should be bought separately, as artillery formation that delivers very destructive strikes with a large mass of explosives simultaneously, thus increasing the shock effect and giving the target less time to take cover. Rocket artillery cannot usually match the accuracy and sustained rate of fire of conventional gun artillery.

    Rocket system(s) will require a “cool-down” period for reload between fire missions.

    What else could probably be introduced without drastic compromises and changes in current system are different smoke types (HC and HW) and thermobaric weapons (albeit those can be kept on-map).

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    RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 5/10/2020 9:17:37 PM   
    nikolas93TS


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    Most armies break their artillery down into batteries of 4 to 8 tubes. An artillery battalion usually has anywhere from 3 to 4 batteries assigned. Each combat brigade or regiment has one artillery battalion assigned to it. This coincides with the 3 to 4 maneuver battalions that each combat brigade / regiment consists of. This support is called DS (direct support) in the US, British and German armies (Unmittelbare Unterstützung), or RAG (regimental artillery group) in the Soviet army, and represents the firepower that a brigade or regiment has dedicated directly to it. Direct support typically consisted of a battalion of 105mm to 122mm guns, later moving towards 152mm and 155mm.

    Additionally, divisions have another complete artillery battalion- and sometimes even several battalions - assigned to them. This force is at the division commander’s disposal, to provide additional heavy support for any combat brigade in a serious fight. This support is called GS (general support) by the US, British and Germans (Allgemeine Unterstützung), or DAG (division artillery group) by the Soviets. These guns are typically 152mm to 203mm (8 inch) or even larger in size. Divisions sometimes also had rocket artillery that were available in battalion strength as well.

    Corps and Armies have artillery units assigned to them, to provide even more firepower on the battlefield. These are typically independent units used for special purposes.

    Now, I was thinking about introducing a possibility to purchase direct support and general support artillery formation. You could buy an artillery battery or a whole battalion, depending on faction.

    In theory, each battery is “assigned” to support a maneuver battalion. In practice, the artillery batteries are typically assigned to support the battalion or battalions that are involved in the most serious fighting. Thus, a reserve battalion may have no artillery support, while the battalion conducting an attack may have all the DS batteries in support, plus GS support from the division. If it were a critical battle, additional Corps and Army support may be forthcoming. Essentially, if the guns are available (i.e. deployed and within range), the unit in the thick of a fight can probably call on them.

    Those would have different proprieties according to faction (for example GS would be cheaper, but often unavailable and not responsive as DS etc.) and I was thinking that could also have implications on counter-fire.

    Do you think it is too complex?

    Overall, counter-battery fire should be selectable before starting the battle. Maybe direct and general artillery as well, because many players might not wish to bother with intricacies of complex artillery systems. The idea is that counter-fire will probably induce artillery units moving after each fire mission, hence increasing the number of possible artillery units per-game might at least offset the temporal loss of firepower.

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    RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 5/10/2020 10:35:30 PM   
    Artillerist


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    Nikolas You don't sound very confused to me! Definitely moving in the right direction.

    - Distinguishing weapon platform/shell size
    - Specifying whether a battery or battalion is serving in a direct support or general support role
    Both excellent decisions and not complex.

    As for the counter-battery I'd have to see what you come up with to judge.

    If the philosophy is to keep it all as simple as possible the only other thing that comes to mind right now is fire mission orientation (attitude). Right now we have what amounts to 0 mils, and 1600 mils. 0800 and 2400 mils would be useful.

    And of course kill counts. And FISTERs (FO/FOOs)

    < Message edited by Artillerist -- 5/10/2020 11:48:20 PM >

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    RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 5/10/2020 10:44:51 PM   
    lancer

     

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    Hi nikolas,

    I don't know. What benefit would more complexity in this area bring to the game when the existing system does the job in a reasonable manner? Whatever you do to enhance artillery is inevitably going to involve off-map abstractions. There's nothing wrong with that and who can argue against more of anything? But with artillery, at the end of the day all you're going to end up with is a bunch of extra numbers in a UI box.

    Speaking soley for myself, I don't wish to play an 'artillery simulator' that requires extra number shuffling for abstract, imaginery, units. I want to exercise combined arms visually on a map. I want artillery as part of the process but it just needs to be there and do it's job, not be a whole new micro exercise in and off itself.

    Armored Brigade is a game about maneouvering On Map units. There are ancillary services such as artillery and air but they are abstracted to keep them simple and to retain the focus of the game. Making one of these abstract elements a bigger deal is going to blur that focus. Additionally if you start slicing up abstract artillery into different calibres and different formations what are you going to do about counter battery fire which is arguably a way bigger factor than all the rest combined?

    What's going to happen when you've got abstract artillery units firing at other abstract artillery units? As I may have already mentioned, however you do it, it's going to end up as just another bunch of numbers about stuff that isn't on the map and isn't the focus of the game.

    There are other areas where the impact on the broader player and customer base would be greater - stuff that is On Map such as spotting, infantry issues and the ability of friendly units to take independent action to enhance survivability when unexpected things occur, for example.

    On the other hand if you were repositioning the game for a primarily military audience then any extra fidelity with artillery may be worth the extra dev time.

    Either way, give yourself a medal for manual reading excellence.

    Cheers,
    Lancer

    [edit] I have it in my head that you are one of the Devs but I think that's not the case and that you're just a guy expressing an opinion like I am? If so then you can ignore my rant as I only posted 'cause I thought it was a dev point of view. If you wish to push the artillery point of view then go for it as freedom of expression is a good thing.

    < Message edited by lancer -- 5/11/2020 6:24:03 AM >

    (in reply to nikolas93TS)
    Post #: 81
    RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 5/11/2020 5:35:48 PM   
    Artillerist


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    I agree with Lancer on some points and strongly disagree on others.

    I think it's reasonable to be skeptical about the design and effects of abstracted counter-battery. Have to be careful with that one.

    I agree that less abstraction, and more emphasis on on-map units is preferable to abstract forces influencing the fight.

    I disagree that any improvements to calibre and the sub-division of assets into roles turns the game into an arty simulator. Not even close. I don't know how anyone could reasonably come to that conclusion unless they're just too unfamiliar with the differences between how Brigade/Battalion/Company operations are executed to understand the gulf between what we have in-game versus reality . Weapons systems have different effects, roles, capabilities; from assault rifles to Rocket Artillery systems. Nobody would ask that all tank guns to have the same capabilities and effects so not sure why anyone would prefer that all artillery have the same capabilities and effects.

    You're rewarded for being sensible enough to not attack tanks with lightly equipped infantry, penalized for the opposite. That's not complexity that's common sense. 155mm howitzers don't have the same effects as 60mm mortars, you should be rewarded for being sensible enough to match the system with the desired effects, and penalized for the opposite.

    Nobody criticizes combat mission, steel beasts, flashpoint campaigns, command operations, cmano, or any other game for having too complex a fire support model, or modelling the differences between artillery calibres. Not sure why these complaints should have relevance to AB.



    (in reply to lancer)
    Post #: 82
    RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 5/13/2020 12:53:51 AM   
    nikolas93TS


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    Indeed, I am one of the developers.

    Yes, I forgot to mention artillery kills in AAR. Also, fire mission orientation (attitude) is a very good suggestion.

    Our design philosophy was always to keep things from perspective of the ground (or maneuver) commander, with player having to deal both both subordinates (command delay) and superiors (he cannot control everything). He is not an artillery or air commander, he ask for support and only thing he cares about is that support is delivered. That is why some of the suggestions were discarded or abstracted. Sometimes introducing a particular feature is like opening a Pandora's box. I think Lancer put it down very nicely.

    Artillery rework is part of much wider game overhaul going underway that will encompass many key features, including but not limited to command structure, electronic warfare, individual spotting etc. It is a tenuous task because we want to make the game even more detailed and realistic while trying to keep it accessible and playable. But we will stick to artillery on this thread.

    Artillery differentiation has been widely demanded, I don't think it will represent too much of a hassle for the player (if he cannot differentiate 105mm from 155mm, then it is likely he doesn't make difference between lets say T-55 and M1 Abrams...such players do exist, but they are probably a small minority in this genre).

    However, counter-battery and very likely mission differentiation will be optional when generating the mission. In that way we can keep the simplicity and spare some players the (possible) frustration, while giving the chance to raise the challenge to those who wish so.

    Another certain thing is that artillery will remain off-map. It is not only the question of above mentioned design philosophy, but primarily because it requires a whole new AI for handling it. At that point we can remove 15x15km limit for maps and release a stand alone artillery simulator.

    (in reply to Artillerist)
    Post #: 83
    RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 5/13/2020 2:05:46 AM   
    nikolas93TS


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    As for counter-battery fire we start with premise that a firing mission may be a hazardous undertaking for an artillery unit. Firing many rounds from the same location carries significant risk that the enemy will detect (by flashes, sound, radar etc.) the location of the artillery unit. Therefore, the shooter may want to periodically change location to avoid counter-battery fire. The difficult decision is deciding how long guns can remain in one place before moving. This requires judgement about the enemy's counter-battery responsiveness.

    A primary component of our model is “risk,” which increases over time when player stays in the same position. The risk represents enemy’s effective firing rate, which is the rate that enemy fires rounds multiplied by the probability a round hits the player. These two quantities (especially the hit probability) will increase in time as player stays at the same location. Frequent moving generates low risk, but it consumes much time and effort and imposes a cost of lost firepower.

    Introducing direct and general fire missions, artillery formations, as well some other features, will help us to possibly construct a statistical model that AI can use to handle it's own counter-battery. Player can use his experience and intuition to determine when the artillery should change locations.

    Travel times should be pre-set by database creator, based on technology level, weapons, if artillery is towed of self-propelled etc. Similar can be said for general artillery, as there could be a percent chance defined in each national data file that an artillery unit will be displaced by one location after each mission that it fires, or just unavailable. Differentiation of artillery types will also allow us to allow for a more realistic doctrinal representation of different periods (for example, heavy artillery used to be primary counter-battery source, for example the US divisional artillery has been among the first to my knowledge to be given the mission of counter-fire in the 1970s, and has received a target acquisition battery for locating enemy artillery).

    I am still on edge regarding permanent damage to artillery units, or it should be just translated to temporary suppression and unavailability.

    (in reply to nikolas93TS)
    Post #: 84
    RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 5/14/2020 10:33:09 PM   
    lancer

     

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    Hi nikolas,

    Arrrgh! You are dev. Trust your instincts...

    Is the overhaul you mentioned planned for the current, or next, iteration of the game?

    Cheers,
    Lancer

    (in reply to nikolas93TS)
    Post #: 85
    RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 5/15/2020 10:08:22 PM   
    nikolas93TS


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    Next. It will require a brand new database.

    _____________________________

    Armored Brigade Database Specialist

    (in reply to lancer)
    Post #: 86
    RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 5/21/2020 3:03:02 AM   
    exsonic01

     

    Posts: 1041
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    I like all those ideas, Nikolas. Direct and general support idea and distinguishment of artillery caliber and tube/rocket, CB mission... This is what I also wished to see from AB and other ground-based wargames, and I think those are good balance among realism and the 'gaming fun' factor. Also, selectable CB as a pre-game option is also a good idea IMO.

    Regarding artillery unit damage, would it be possible to use different models based on different munitions? For example:
    1) HE = very low chance of direct damage. Only indirect damage (mostly light damage) and suppression.
    2) ICM = good chance of direct damage and even being wrecked + suppression.
    3) Chemical (and incendiary like WP or Napalm)
    -a) Full NBC: No direct damage, but receive suppression + requires additional time cost to being operational in terms of decontamination.
    -b) Partial NBC: Small chance of direct damage or being destroyed. Suppression + additional time cost to being operational in terms of decontamination.
    -c) No NBC: Very good chance of direct damage or being destroyed. Suppression + additional time cost to being operational in terms of decontamination.
    4) Tacnuke = Very good chance of total destruction, and survived units will cost a huge time for decontamination.
    5) FASCAM = Same effect with a description of FASCAM to armored vehicles in current version of AB.
    This way, survivability of towed guns and SP-guns will be greatly distinguished. (Do towed-guns and SP-guns also in the plan of new arty description?) In this case, towed-guns should be compensated with cheaper price.

    Regarding the description of artillery units, will it be purely off-map like current AB? Or are there plans or considerations for the description of arty units as non-controllable units? If there is a plan to describe arty units in-game, how about using a very simplified version of arty units, in the "outside-of-AO" area on the map?

    In current AB, the description of the area outside of user-defined "gameplay AO" (but still within the total area map) is very simplified with bigger pixels and lower brightness. (Check Artillerist's post with the screenshot above) Let's describe artillery units in those areas. It doesn't need to fully depict the graphic of those arty units outside of "gameplay AO". It would be great if they came with good graphics, but I think simplicity and resource-saving would more important. Instead, let's use a very simplified description of some square pixels with NATO symbols and show name/unit type. Currently, if an airplane flies outside of "gameplay AO", airplane is described as a group of pixels. I think the same can be done for artillery units.

    Then, let the AI/player set 4~5 "firing position" of artillery (just like helicopter's BP in current AB). This way, players cannot and do not need to directly micro arty units, but only can order fire/movement among firing positions. The same artillery fire support control box can be used, and it won't affect on learning curve of this game.

    Regarding the movement of arty units, maybe it would be good to enable players/AI to set SOP for arty units movement. This way, arty units can prioritize mostly to use road networks, or mix road or off-road, or prioritize mostly off-road. In this case, wheeled units and tracked units will have their own pros and cons. Players and AI can use FASCAM to "trap" arty units by block road networks. This can be an additional tactical choice for players and AI.

    This way, the effect of the range of artillery, firing direction, effect of counter-battery fire can be naturally described in this game, and players can watch them. This way, the entire artillery mechanism can be more intuitive, and the game can escape from some possible criticism like "RNG roll of CB mission ruined my game". Some players just can't accept the situation of his or her plans are ruined without understandable visual evidence or reason, but just because the RNG roll was purely bad to him or her that day, without showing them.




    < Message edited by exsonic01 -- 5/21/2020 3:19:46 AM >

    (in reply to nikolas93TS)
    Post #: 87
    RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 5/21/2020 3:35:51 AM   
    exsonic01

     

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    Also, speaking of counter-battery, it is also possible to conduct such mission using air assets. The concept of joint interdiction, or joint fire support is nothing new. The concept is developed from the cold war, even from the days of the Vietnam war. However, such a fast reaction speed for CB for air interdiction assets is usually not possible or has a very narrow window, and requires a very organic datalink system with efficient command structure.

    https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monographs/2005/RAND_MG301.pdf

    quote:

    For example, counterbattery fire was often delivered within two minutes of sensing the incoming fire during Operation Iraqi Freedom. This level of responsiveness is possible from the air for selected high-priority missions
    (e.g., the leading elements in a major offensive such as the 3/7th Cavalry during Operation Iraqi Freedom, or Special Forces conducting direct-action missions) but requires a huge force structure to sustain for prolonged operations over a large battle space.


    quote:

    Most significant among these is delivering firepower quickly against suddenly emerging targets, as in the case of counterbattery fire, whenever friendly artillery has sufficient range. When fast reaction times are required, normally on the order of two minutes or less, artillery will generally be more satisfactory than air power unless an aircraft can be placed on station before a target emerges, for example, when an AC-130 flies a protective orbit or an attack helicopter provides overwatch for ground units. During the U.S. counterinsurgency campaign in South Vietnam, the mission of delivering quick-response fires to support patrols encountering guerrilla ambushes was progressively taken over by a system of artillery firebases throughout the country instead of maintaining aircraft on patrol to provide CAS on short notice.


    So, maybe in current AB, it might not be possible to see air interdiction as CB mission. But in the modern battlefield? I think it might be possible.

    (in reply to exsonic01)
    Post #: 88
    RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 6/3/2020 2:29:38 AM   
    nikolas93TS


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    Hi Exsonic01, when you talk different damage models you are talking about counter-battery fire? I am yet undecided if there should be permanent damage to targeted artillery units, although I am in favor only if it is rendered optional for those players who don't mind it.

    My current idea for artillery is to have an optional tab in purchase menu where player buys artillery formations. The basic fire unit is a battery (although for some factions, like USSR, it might be mandatory to purchase a battalion consisting of few batteries). Each artillery unit will have its own properties (name, caliber, type, towed/self-propelled, possibly even rate of fire). Rocket artillery will be a separate formation, with special rules I explained few posts above.

    While buying an artillery formation, player will also have the possibility to choose between above mentioned direct support and general support. I found this separation an excellent way to simulate doctrinal differences between factions (Exsonic01 might recall the long discussion on Soviet response times and flexibility). Direct support will function pretty much identically as it does now, with an addition of "attitude": angle of the fire mission.
    General support, on the other hand, will use the same simple fire procedure, but player will generate a fire-support request rather than fire mission. It can be randomly delayed (it will be placed into a priority queue to be fired at the earliest available opportunity, which may or may not be prompt), or denied outright, because general support depends on higher command or other officers deciding according to availability and the priorities. According to faction and historical period, direct support and general support formations might be allowed or not to perform counter-battery fire (for example, traditionally it was the role of heavy artillery). General support will be overall much cheaper, to offset lack of firepower reliability. I think it will have a positive effect on gameplay since in many scenarios with lesser amount of points (or in campaigns) artillery is prohibitively expensive or outright unavailable.

    Now, the counter-battery. It will be optional, according to player preference when setting the battle.
    As mentioned above, battery will be the basic fire unit. Which means that while the player will keep his freedom to assign individual tubes for fire missions as he wish, but he will be forced to assign a whole battery to counter-fire role. Equally, the risk factor (which we currently graphically envisage as a coloured bar) with be shared with the battery from which the tube(s) are firing. As mentioned earlier, a primary component of our CB model is the “risk”, which increases over time when player stays in the same position and performs fire missions. The risk represents enemy’s effective firing rate, which is the rate that enemy fires rounds multiplied by the probability a round hits the player. These two quantities (especially the hit probability) will increase in time as player stays at the same location. Frequent moving generates low risk, but it consumes much time and effort and imposes a cost of lost firepower. Equally, player can dedicate his batteries to counter-fire, sacrificing his firepower in order to reduce the enemy fire.

    The risk will be influenced by several factors, like artillery type (which influences the range, elevation, target type and number of projectiles being simultaneously tracked) as well electronic warfare, opposing side training, presence of UAVs etc.

    Abstraction is handy because it allows us to simulate a wide aspect of realistic factors, without having to model them physically and allowing us to preserve the simplicity of current model.

    However, as rightfully noted, abstraction can cause frustration. We have categorically agreed against on-map artillery units as they often have ranges well in excess of 15km, and some recent systems even surpassing the size of our master maps. Idem for battle positions, as we want to keep things simple and with as with less micromanaging as possible. The simple icons outside the battle-area were discussed too, but there are some issues with geographical orientation (for example, what if scenario is representing the unit breaking though the encirclement or trying to reach friendly lines in opposing direction) or if battle is conducted at the edge of the master map (black screen). This haven't been yet definitely shelved, thought.

    But, our artist has come out with an idea to have some form of animations or other visual clues illustrating the player what is happening. But we still have to produce a draft for that, and similarly we still have a lot to discuss about precision guided weapons and how they will be implement. Which is closely intertwined with another hot topic: the forward observers (or battery command posts, FIST teams etc.).

    My current ideas is to have them bought as an addition for front-line formations or HQ, depending on factions. In US case, the platoon forward observers are assigned to the FIST supporting each infantry company or cavalry troop in the BCT and to the battlefield surveillance brigade. The BCT cannon field artillery battalion coordinates with fire cells at BCT and battalion level; and FISTs and forward observers at company level. I would really appreciate if Artillerist or someone else knowledgeable on the topic would leave a remark on this, particularly with description of filed operations, as manuals are pretty dry on that practical aspect (at least to me).

    I know everybody would like to see them as physical units, but I am certain we will have very serious issues teaching the AI how to use them properly (primarily how not to get them killed, yet make them use advantageous terrain features).

    All-in-all, artillery (together with some aspects of modern air operations) is proving the most demanding to re-work and I have spent weeks reading and rethinking about this. So feedback and suggestions are highly welcome!

    _____________________________

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    (in reply to exsonic01)
    Post #: 89
    RE: When we will have artillery overhaul? - 6/3/2020 6:54:47 AM   
    Artillerist


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    Ask and you shall receive:

    Relevant Doctrine is FM 6-30 (Chapter 2, which lays out the organization of the FIST and FO parties, at company/troop level) and Chapter 1 in FM 6-20-40 (heavy), FM 6-20-50 (light) which both go into more detail.

    FISTER is the term used to describe all members of the 13 Foxtrot Enlisted MOS regardless of assignment as well as their assigned Field Artillery Officers, and the term FIST describes the group of FISTERs in a Company HQ as I will describe below.

    In a fully manned BDE you'd have:

    2 FISTERs per Infantry platoon (whether light or heavy), organized into a 2 man FO party, they provide responsive area fires to fulfill infantry platoon needs. Only sometimes equipped with a laser designator, but always equipped with radio, map and binoculars.

    4 FISTERS per Company level HQ in Armor, Infantry, and Cav units organized into a FIST. Equipped with a G/VLLD (laser designator, either carried or vehicle mounted), and capable of coordinating the fires for the company/troop, and providing direct laser designation for Copperhead and Aerial delivered precision guided weapons.

    Following the math, that makes 10 FISTERs per infantry company (heavy or light units) but only 4 FISTERs for Cav and Armor troops.

    5 FISTERs are assigned to the Headquarters of a Battalion/Squadron and form a Fire Support Element (FSE) consisting of three enlisted FISTERs and 2 Field Artillery Officers (a Captain or Major, and Lieutenant). The FSE serves mainly as a coordination cell.

    5 FISTERs are assigned to the Brigade HQ and form another FSE consisting of three enlisted FISTERs and 2 FA Officers (major and lieutenant), again as a coordination cell.

    9 additional FISTERs per Heavy Brigade HQ form into 3 COLTs, each consisting of 3 enlisted FISTERS, and each equipped with a G/VLLD for precision designation.

    or 3 FISTERs per BDE HQ in a light BDE formed into 1 COLT, also with a G/VLLD.

    Platoon FO parties travel on the supported platoon's vehicles (either M113 or later Bradleys, often with the Platoon Leader)
    Company FISTs used the M113 until widespread fielding of the M981 FISTV in the mid 80s (1984/5ish) and later the M7 BFIST in the 90s.
    FSEs at Battalion and Brigade HQs used the M577. COLTs used the Humvee, and FISTV depending on availability.

    The FIST system was introduced in the late 70s. Prior to the introduction of the FIST, 2 Field Artilleryman and a Field Artillery Officer would serve as an FO party at each Company level HQ echelon in Infantry/Armor/Cav formations, and would move around as needed.

    < Message edited by Artillerist -- 6/3/2020 6:55:19 AM >

    (in reply to nikolas93TS)
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