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"Relative spotting" and information sharing - 3/12/2020 9:54:23 PM   
Veitikka


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We are considering if the next engine should have a "relative spotting" system, meaning that every unit maintains its own pool of information that contains relations to all non-friendly units. This includes if the target unit has been spotted or not, the level of identification and so on.

I'd like to hear some ideas from you regarding what the new system should take into account, when it comes to sharing the spotting information that an individual unit has stored. What should be the rules between individual units, and also between the platoons, companies, and even battalions when communicating via radios and other equipment? Our plan is to make the system support electronic warfare, spy drones, and other contemporary assets, so they need some thought.

This is a good opportunity for influencing the features Armored Brigade might have in the future.


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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing - 3/13/2020 1:08:27 AM   
exsonic01

 

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I'm really glad to hear AB is considering this feature in future version. I already shared some idea and suggestions before, and I will share more if I can bring more. Also I really wish to read more and better brilliant idea and suggestions from others...

One thing I think important is the balance between realism and gaming fun factor or simplicity. As a realism wargame fan, I really like the info-sharing and new spotting mechanics, and this is one of the reason why I like CM series. However, at the same time, it is also true that such features will increase difficulty & learning curve, as well as increase complexity and this difficulty of coding (and thus future modding / modulation possibility). And I'm pretty sure you and your team members would know about this factor. Though it wouldn't be easy, I wish you found the best solution and find the optimal balance. I think some sort of simplified modeling of info-sharing would be good... I guess? But this will going to need a lot of tests. I think CM series found their own balance, I think AB can do the same.

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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing - 3/13/2020 9:28:33 AM   
altipueri

 

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I agree with exsonic - don't make it so realistic that only experts can play. Or at least give easily changed options to make it a simpler experience for some of us.

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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing - 3/13/2020 12:47:06 PM   
22sec

 

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Iím really giving this some thought before I answer. I love the question and what I think it means!

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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing - 3/13/2020 8:45:08 PM   
exsonic01

 

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How about introduce difficulty setting concept? Or, just give an option to players to control to manage those info-sharing time cost. Then, depending on options, introduce a multiplier factor for info-sharing time, and command delay time too. And if we introduce info-sharing time, I think command delay time can be included in the info-sharing time, isn't it?

Introduce the relative spotting and info-share via datalink as hardcore realistic as possible you can design with given game engine, then set it as "hardcore" difficulty. Or "realistic" info-sharing drop-down option. Then:
"hard" difficulty or "slow" info-sharing speed option with 75% multiplier factor for info-sharing and command delay time.
"Medium" difficulty or "medium" info-sharing speed option with 50% multiplier factor for info-sharing and command delay time.
"easy" difficulty or "fast" info-sharing speed option with 25% multiplier factor for info-sharing and command delay time.
"very easy" difficulty", or "very fast" info-sharing speed option, and set 0% multiplier factor for info-sharing and command delay time. 0% means no time cost for info-sharing or command delay, just like current AB or any other RTS game.

Or, you could separate options for command delay time, and info-sharing time, differently. You could do the same for EW effect. Induce the most realistic effect to "hardcore" or "realistic" difficulty or setting, and induce almost non-existence level of effect for "very easy" difficulty or setting.

Even now, there is a mod to reduce or remove command delay of this game. If option is given, then any players will welcome and enjoy the setting they want.

CM series' difficulty setting also controls info-sharing feature, but there, difficulty setting does not related with time cost as far as remember.

< Message edited by exsonic01 -- 3/13/2020 9:04:07 PM >

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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing - 3/14/2020 10:13:42 AM   
Lowlaner2012

 

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This I gonna take some thinking, I'll get back to you 😎

Thanks

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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing - 3/14/2020 12:45:38 PM   
thewood1

 

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I think a couple things need to be considered on relative spotting:

1) Comms sophistication and timeframe. Not all comms systems are created equal and the maturity/reliability of various systems over the relatively expansive timeframe is very important

2) FoW is very important in setting up a sighting transmission process. That includes misID and generic IDs.

Can it function without those?...yes. But it is one of those things that really makes it more effective.

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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing - 3/14/2020 12:52:32 PM   
22sec

 

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This is an important, but complicated discussion. I think the big thing that would need to be addressed is how do my AI controlled units act if their radio comms are jammed. The current programming doesnít allow for much unit independence. If I a have two platoons defending a hill, and they start taking losses but I as the player canít issue orders to them they would die on that hill. I know itís always a question of programming, so how do you program some additional conditions that can be set for units to be able to act more independently when they are cut off from receiving my orders? I donít think itís worth the effort to limit what the player can see. Even if you implement a system where I as the player has to click on a unit to see the enemy units it sees to me all your doing is slowing down gameplay. The key is implementing the effects of electronic warfare, which needs to be included in what I think yíall are considering.

Of course there are nations that have networked force trackers which change things. Itís been a while since Iíve looked at things like BlueForce Tracker, but if I remember correctly the commander can issue orders. One would need to do the research on those systems susceptibility to jamming.

< Message edited by 22sec -- 3/14/2020 12:53:05 PM >


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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing - 3/14/2020 11:13:28 PM   
exsonic01

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: 22sec
This is an important, but complicated discussion. I think the big thing that would need to be addressed is how do my AI controlled units act if their radio comms are jammed. The current programming doesnít allow for much unit independence. If I a have two platoons defending a hill, and they start taking losses but I as the player canít issue orders to them they would die on that hill. I know itís always a question of programming, so how do you program some additional conditions that can be set for units to be able to act more independently when they are cut off from receiving my orders? I donít think itís worth the effort to limit what the player can see. Even if you implement a system where I as the player has to click on a unit to see the enemy units it sees to me all your doing is slowing down gameplay. The key is implementing the effects of electronic warfare, which needs to be included in what I think yíall are considering.
Of course there are nations that have networked force trackers which change things. Itís been a while since Iíve looked at things like BlueForce Tracker, but if I remember correctly the commander can issue orders. One would need to do the research on those systems susceptibility to jamming.

That is very good point about AI. I remember there was a discussion about self-protective instinct in the thread about order delay time cost to turn the direction. I think this issue shares the similar concern about AI = How much the AI for unit (platoon ~ battalion) will perform proper tactical maneuver when it is cut from player's command.

Some sort of automated routines would be great to be added, which would help AI's independent behavior as tactically sound enough.

Maybe, some sort of additional SOP for battalion / company / platoon / squad behaviors might help those. Aggressive / defensive / opportunistic / conservative and etc... RTS games like C&C Red Alert and Supreme Commander has an option to set AI behavior in general when making skirmish game against AI. Something similar might be helpful in AB too.

This issue can be linked with recon AI, as recons always operate forward boundary and behind the first contact line, searching for possible enemy HQ or other HVT. Typical recon operations are not totally autonomous, but it is true that recon (and light infantry / SF) operations has some sort of degree of freedom.

I suggested some sort of spatial analysis algorithm before. I think this would helps AI to behave properly. But I also agree with 22sec, there should be something to consider about AI's behavior.

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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing - 3/15/2020 12:50:34 PM   
varangy


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My recommendation:

Keeping ABs simplistic, easy to learn (and I think also to implement) approach and building over what we already have:

- each formation has its own info sharing with some base speed (example 60 seconds)
- if they don't have a radio (infantry squads for example), this is extended (so slower, for example by an extra 50%)

- each formation in contact with any HQ shares and receives info
- if there is 0% contact, that unit will not be able to do it
- info has to be "uploaded" and also "downloaded"
- speed of up and downloading is base speed - base speed * HQ contact percentage / 2
- base speed is higher than internal communication
- for a certain enemy unit external comms cannot start until internal comm info sharing has been finished (I am not sure if this is a good idea though. If the game keeps track of a lead unit, it can start once lead unit knows about it)
- once data has been uploaded to an HQ any other unit can start to download from any other HQ (so no comms between HQs, its a shared pool)


fantastic info graphics:
For example look at the graphics below. One member of the infantry squad just spotted an enemy. How is information shared after this?
(internel comms base speed: 30 seconds; external comms base speed: 90 seconds)
- infantry squad internal com takes 45 seconds because not every member has a radio (+50% delay)
- because one member has radio, time to upload data is 58 seconds (HQ contact is 72%, 90 - 90 x 0.72 / 2 = 58)
- once this is finished, T-62 and BMP-2 platoon starts to download this info
- for the T-62 platoon it takes 45 seconds as they have 100% contact (90 - 90 x 1.00 / 2 = 45)
- for the BMP platoon it takes 63 seconds as they have 60% contact (90 - 90 x 0.60 / 2 = 63)

I wouldn't make generic IDs and the "I think there is somebody" thing like in the Battlefront games.

I also highly suggest to "forget" contacts if they go into hiding!




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< Message edited by varangy -- 3/15/2020 12:57:14 PM >

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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing - 3/15/2020 4:17:25 PM   
zacklaws

 

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In my day from the mid 70's to the late 90's all information was sent straight away up the chain of command, ie section, to platoon, to Coy HQ, to BN HQ and then Regimental HQ. But, it could also be sent direct too from the lowest level to BN HQ depending on what radio net you was using and other formations on the same net would also hear the information and react to it. Everything was sent from sighting reports to contact reports, shellreps, etc. So soon as it happened, the higher formations knew. The only delay would be if the message had to be encypted and then decrypted, but a contact report was just sent in clear, with the pre warning message of "Callsign, Contact, Wait Out", That would clear the airwaves of non essential chat, Higher HQ would know without any delay that a specific unit was in contact and that a Contact report would be soon coming, In the manner of, When, Where, What is it, What is it doing and What you doing about it.

It is a bit pointless if a lower level formation keeps information to itself as then the higher formations do not have a clue what is going on to manoeuvre other units to counter a threat, support an attack or "stand units too" to face an approaching threat etc.

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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing - 3/15/2020 10:14:55 PM   
lancer

 

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Hi,

If you are going to implement some form of info sharing that involves info being transmitted over communication nets you will also need to model electronic warfare as the two are like intertwined siamese twins.

The other thing that may be required, in order to reduce the inevitable player confusion, is a means of visually showing communication nets on the map. An overlay of some kind that allows players to understand the process would, I'd suggest, be necessary.

Without some form of visualisation of the information flow you are likely going to spend a lot of time answering questions about a key game mechanic that is going to be a 'black box' for most.

Cheers,
Lancer

< Message edited by lancer -- 3/16/2020 12:59:35 AM >

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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing - 3/16/2020 10:57:06 AM   
varangy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: zacklaws
soon as it happened, the higher formations knew.

It is a bit pointless if a lower level formation keeps information to itself


This is a tactical level game. When you hear something on the radio you will not be able to magically see the enemy immediately.

You are a platoon commmander. You hear from another platoon that some kind of enemy is somewhere. You have to think, look around, look on the map, etc. Also the radio can be distorted depending on the conditions, you don't hear, you have to ask back for clarification, you have to find a location with better reception etc.

My solution simulates this. There is no point in making a system to your idea of instantaneous communications as it is just what we have now, so there would be nothing to change.

< Message edited by varangy -- 3/16/2020 11:01:47 AM >

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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing - 3/16/2020 10:58:46 AM   
varangy


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double delete please

< Message edited by varangy -- 3/16/2020 10:59:48 AM >

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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing - 3/16/2020 12:17:00 PM   
22sec

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: varangy

quote:

ORIGINAL: zacklaws
soon as it happened, the higher formations knew.

It is a bit pointless if a lower level formation keeps information to itself


This is a tactical level game. When you hear something on the radio you will not be able to magically see the enemy immediately.

You are a platoon commmander. You hear from another platoon that some kind of enemy is somewhere. You have to think, look around, look on the map, etc. Also the radio can be distorted depending on the conditions, you don't hear, you have to ask back for clarification, you have to find a location with better reception etc.

My solution simulates this. There is no point in making a system to your idea of instantaneous communications as it is just what we have now, so there would be nothing to change.


How would what you propose actually effect what the player does? You have two platoons sharing info, but in game you still have to control those units so there is really no sharing info between units, itís only what you as the player sees.

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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing - 3/16/2020 1:54:36 PM   
thewood1

 

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This is as much about individual spotting as about comms. You might have another unit radio you that an enemy tank is by the rock. But it will still take x-seconds/minutes for the the receiving unit to orient and spot the enemy unit. And that information loop or OODA loop is variable based on comms network, experience, training, environment, etc. Up until the point of the spotting cycle is complete, an unknown designator is used. I also think you should be able to order a unit to fire on an unknown designator, but with decreased accuracy, ROF, and other ramifications.

The only real question is how do you treat the enemy unit at the player level. Like in Combat Mission, you only see what the unit sees when clicking that unit. But when you click on HQ, you now see all known and unknown spottings. That is the big question.

I also think you need a tool, like a spotting list, that allows you to quickly see who is spotting what and the age of the spotting report.

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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing - 3/16/2020 2:43:51 PM   
varangy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: 22sec


quote:

ORIGINAL: varangy

quote:

ORIGINAL: zacklaws
soon as it happened, the higher formations knew.

It is a bit pointless if a lower level formation keeps information to itself


This is a tactical level game. When you hear something on the radio you will not be able to magically see the enemy immediately.

You are a platoon commmander. You hear from another platoon that some kind of enemy is somewhere. You have to think, look around, look on the map, etc. Also the radio can be distorted depending on the conditions, you don't hear, you have to ask back for clarification, you have to find a location with better reception etc.

My solution simulates this. There is no point in making a system to your idea of instantaneous communications as it is just what we have now, so there would be nothing to change.


How would what you propose actually effect what the player does?


Its not about the player as it can see all the contacts. Its about which of your unit can shoot at which enemy target, because its about changing the spotting system.

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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing - 3/16/2020 10:59:32 PM   
Veitikka


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First and foremost, this topic is about who can shoot who. I think the player should have the access to global spotting information at all times, and also unit pathfinding should use global passability information for its side, as it currently does, because otherwise the system can get unnecessarily complex, without making the game any better.


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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing - 3/17/2020 8:31:01 AM   
jirik

 

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Hi,

I'd recommend to implement the behaviour as a simple abstraction not going to tracking exact C2 network.

Generally I'd dived the units into two groups - in-formation and out-of-formation. There will be a separate (moddable) delay value for each of the group and in-formation will have a smaller value than out-of-formation.

When a unit spots a new unit then all units in the same formation will receive the information with the shorter delay. The delay will not be exactly same for all units but will be in a random value of a normal distribution around the configured delay.

The same will be executed for out-of-formation units just with the larger value.

This will
- simulate the immediate communication vs command chain delay
- prevent robotic reaction among to units to simulate comms problems, difficulty in target acquisition
- increase the motivation to use larger formations

Dedicated recon units can receive a special modifier to reduce out-of-formation delay to simulate a dedicated comms channel between recon and command post.

EW would be also abstracted. I'd say that EW will be in form of point bought during formation selection.
When the enemy has EW points then the soppting dissemination delay will be calculated in the same way but the distribution will not be symmetric normal distribution but skewed toward larger delays. The more EW enemy points the larger the skewness and higher difficulty in dissemniation spotting information.

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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing - 3/17/2020 10:00:14 AM   
thewood1

 

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I think that is pretty close to how Combat Mission does command and comms, as it effects what they have called borg spotting.

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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing - 3/23/2020 4:07:27 PM   
RollsRoyce031

 

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Rather than base this new function on a (passive) delay, I suggest making it active.


When a "A unit" sees an enemy "Z unit", the player will automatically see it at the same time.


It would be to the player to decide with which unit he would share the information as a priority.


For example, in order for a "B unit" to also perceive the position and type of the "Z unit", it would be necessary to click on that unit (right click), give the order "gather intel about the Z unit" with a timer relative to the position and radio capability between units A and B.


Then if we want a "C unit" to have the same intel about the "Z unit", we take the same approach with this time a timer relative to the position and radio capability between "A" and "C" + a certain penalty time period. etc etc.


This system would make it possible to choose which unit should be informed of the presence of a particular enemy as a priority.

Then if there are several units that have already shared the info or have seen with their own eyes the enemy unit to facilitate and make faster the sharing of information by cumulating the radio capabilities + position of the units "aware" towards the units "not aware".

It might also be interesting for reconnaissance units to allow them to send radio signals at longer distances, and to HQ units to allow them for example to send information to more units with less time penalty for each additional unit that they inform.



Of course it would have to be automated to some extent and readable at the menu level, but that might be an interesting approach. Tell me what you think.



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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing - 3/24/2020 3:22:37 PM   
Perturabo


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Relative spotting sounds like a great thing. To be honest it's somewhat weird how many artifacts of limitations of programming are sort of considered to be a "norm" in wargaming. For example if there was a sneaking action game, enemies not knowing about player characters unless explicitly alarmed would be intuitive and enemies collectively noticing player character would be weird.

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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing - 3/24/2020 3:49:20 PM   
thewood1

 

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Wargamer players have been willing a lot of "weird" stuff because they were told its too complicated. Think about all the board games with almost no FOW. It seems quaint now.

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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing - 3/27/2020 6:34:17 PM   
exsonic01

 

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http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/fb.asp?m=4026345
http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/fb.asp?m=4637518

There was a good discussion in CMO forum which, I think, is related with relative spotting & info sharing issue in AB.

I think AI will be the key to describe info-sharing, command delay, and relative spotting. Among this discussion, regarding submarine, there is an opinion of let submarines operate as "neutral" by AI using its own automated algorithms and routines, and only coming under player control at specific times to transmit contact information/receive new tasking orders.

This is related with AI issue which 22sec suggested. We don't need to follow that comment, AI control + narrow window of specific time frame for player control. However, I think good AI, which makes tactically sound decision with proper self-protection algorithm, will resolve the issues regarding relative spotting, command delay, and info-sharing.

We cannot do something about "god's eye view" of players. The game "Radio Commander" depicts this issue in more realistic fashion. If AB become 100% real, all players should not have current 2D top view. Instead, players need to watch paper maps and update paper icons with pins with his right hand, and talking via phone / radio with left hand. All enemy information of type, movement, etc... will be very vague and sometimes unreliable. But if AB depict that, no one will like to play such game

So I think it would be impossible to remove "god's eye view" from players. However, just like CM or CMO do, it would be great if units on the field cannot react as if they have god's eye view like players. And I think info-sharing and relative spotting will depict such "non god's eye view" units.

EW can be represented as longer command delay, no or very slow datalink / info-sharing, and inaccurate info-sharing / relative spotting.

On top of such effect, what I really wish to see is ELINT / SIGINT operations. Too frequent command activity (too frequent mouse click per minutes) expose the certain approximate square/circle area as possible HQ position. Or, if HQ is located in same area more than specific amount time, let it expose the certain approximate square/circle area as possible HQ position. Too long operation time of radar for SAM units and battlefield radar units expose the certain approximate square/circle area as possible origin of radiation. Those operations are performed by air force / navy assets or higher unit assets (information / intelligence company or battalion). Those ELINT / SIGINT info cannot be relayed to commander (player or AI) in real time. Rather, those info will provided / updated to commander only at certain time frame (not too frequent but not too slow, and such time frame should depend on technology) with slight random factor.

Current phase of AB is rather slow due to its unique detection / identification mechanics. Spotting is really difficult and needs some time, and that is why I play this game "slow". In this case, with "relative spotting" and "info-sharing", "ELINT / SIGINT" could help to speed up the phase of each game for AB. But this is just what I think. I guess devs and others in this forum may have different idea. But the concept of ELINT and SIGINT wouldn't be too complicated to understand, so it wouldn't be a factor to increase learning curve.

If AB can scale up to larger conflict, then it would be possible for players to purchase EW / ELINT / SIGINT operation units or vehicles or platforms from support tab or air tab from purchase screen. Then they could use those features based on what they buy. But that is totally different story.


< Message edited by exsonic01 -- 3/27/2020 6:39:37 PM >

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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing - 3/27/2020 6:52:18 PM   
thewood1

 

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It might have been more helpful to put in how CMO implemented the solution. You can create same-side FOW in CMO through a feature that kills specific comms capabilities between friendly units and sides. It allows units to only see what they have spotted and ages the contacts appropriately for units that come into and out of comms. The game tracks the sight picture for each unit and when out of comms, that is all the unit can see.

You can also easily set up different friendly sides of the same nation so that they only share limited information with each other. Whats cool is you can automatically switch sides, dump that side's sight picture to the allied side, and then switch back. The sight pictures atrt to age on their own again.

Of course, in CMO, you can also use Lua scripting to do weird stuff with comms. One of the weird things I set up in a test scenario was mis-ID. A tanker IDed as a carrier, etc. It takes some skill from the scenario designer, but it can be done.

I make scenarios all the time where recon units are out of comms and have to come back to a base or get in range to deliver a recon report or BDA. Its kind of cool what you can do. But its not in the manual, so might have to actually work at it a little. But all of this requires the scenario designer to bake it into the scenario. And as much as people clamour for this stuff, a lot complain about it being too much like work.

< Message edited by thewood1 -- 3/27/2020 7:00:54 PM >

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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing - 3/28/2020 1:18:12 AM   
Artillerist


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Devs, Sounds like you're moving in the direction of; a) adding clicks, and b) filling the screen up with icons presumably representing where units were, rather than where they are. Please tell me I've misunderstood..

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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing - 3/30/2020 3:58:20 PM   
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I think The whole process in my opinion should be automatic. We're company/battalion level commanders in most scenarios, our focus should be on commanding at that level, not micromanaging information dissemination. Squads could have an immediate voice/ larger hang signal radius in which they can share target information with others in their team. As that information gets disseminated to the platoon leader, that information can be shared with the Company commander, and that information will be transferred up the command echelon and laterally within the units it gets transferred to, then down to subordinates and so on and so forth. If a unit doesn't have a radio, then it can try and relay their information through a unit in their formation that DOES have a radio via voice, or report it directly to their next higher commander in person. The higher up the echelon it does, the longer the delay for the information to be distributed, and shorter the delay the lower it gets passed in the command chain. I guess of course though that this all depends on a concrete command structure where platoons have a company HQ to share information with/companies have a battalion HQ to share with.

On the topic of who can see what, I think there should be Global spotting information for the player since you as the highest commander should have a picture of what the highest commander would see, and then as you select a unit you are restricted to whatever information has been shared with them.

(in reply to Artillerist)
Post #: 27
RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing - 4/25/2020 3:10:13 PM   
22sec

 

Posts: 831
Joined: 12/11/2004
From: Jackson, MS
Status: offline
I canít but keep thinking about this and how to implement in a potential new engine. The first scenario from the below linked vignettes illustrates the challenge and consequences multiple formations can face when information cannot be shared for any reason.

http://companyleader.themilitaryleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Armor-Magazine-Compiled-TDEs.pdf

How could this be simulated in any game, be it AB, AB 2.0, or any other computer or even tabletop sim? If I am higher level commander, and I lose comms with one of my units in game how are they going to react? What happens when a subordinate out of comms wants to send in a report about a unit they spotted and/or are engaging? I think part of the answer already exist in how attack helos will engage targets that are not visible to the player. I love that I donít know what those Cobras are engaging. It can and should get my mind racing and influence my OODA loop. Of course, in their current form, those same Cobras donít react well to receiving fire, and ideally them or any conceivable unit of mine that I donít have comms with needs to better react to preserve themselves. The other dilemma is what if I as the commander have new information, and try in vain to inform a subordinate and issue new orders (commands)? From a gaming perspective if I canít trust my subordinates to routinely act in a sensible matter this is all moot because Iím likely to get frustrated and stop playing. So, the communication piece of the puzzle probably has lots of ways to be implemented. What I still think is critical is implementing reliable, tactically sound unit AI that makes good decisions when left to their own devices.

_____________________________


(in reply to Policefreak55)
Post #: 28
RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing - 4/25/2020 10:58:19 PM   
lancer

 

Posts: 2945
Joined: 10/18/2005
Status: offline
Hi,

quote:

How could this be simulated in any game, be it AB, AB 2.0, or any other computer or even tabletop sim? If I am higher level commander, and I lose comms with one of my units in game how are they going to react? What happens when a subordinate out of comms wants to send in a report about a unit they spotted and/or are engaging? I think part of the answer already exist in how attack helos will engage targets that are not visible to the player. I love that I donít know what those Cobras are engaging. It can and should get my mind racing and influence my OODA loop. Of course, in their current form, those same Cobras donít react well to receiving fire, and ideally them or any conceivable unit of mine that I donít have comms with needs to better react to preserve themselves. The other dilemma is what if I as the commander have new information, and try in vain to inform a subordinate and issue new orders (commands)? From a gaming perspective if I canít trust my subordinates to routinely act in a sensible matter this is all moot because Iím likely to get frustrated and stop playing. So, the communication piece of the puzzle probably has lots of ways to be implemented. What I still think is critical is implementing reliable, tactically sound unit AI that makes good decisions when left to their own devices.


I'd agree with all this (I also like the Cobras engaging unseen targets). Good post.

Cheers,
Lancer

< Message edited by lancer -- 4/25/2020 10:59:13 PM >

(in reply to 22sec)
Post #: 29
RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing - 4/26/2020 2:26:41 PM   
thewood1

 

Posts: 4675
Joined: 11/27/2005
Status: offline
The way Steel Beasts and Command do it is everything is about ROEs, SOPs and missions. Before you hit start, you build out the missions, plans, and settings for all of you units. In both, you can design the scenario to make the commander either completely out of comms or only have intermittent comms. When out of comms, you units follow their mission and plan. In Steel Beasts, there is a little more intelligence to handle some minor hiccups in the plan. As units come back into contact (through various automatic and manual options), the commander can adjust the plans and missions. They also get an update on all sightings and casualties.

For control freaks that don't want that amount of realistic planning and FOW, it can be tough. I see a lot of people crying about "borg" spotting because its unrealistic, yet, when confronted by scenarios like I have described, hate it when encountering that type of scenario.

AB is almost there with SOPs, waypoint, etc. But until you can do some minor scripting for events at and between waypoints, its kind of stuck between two extremes.

(in reply to lancer)
Post #: 30
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