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Formation and vehicle speed

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Formation and vehicle speed - 3/24/2020 7:35:32 PM   


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Each vehicle type is capable of speeds that differ in some degree from other types.
Also, a Formation will be slower than a single vehicle due to the need for the members to keep formation. Companies are slower than platoons which are slower than single vehicles.

When multiple platoons and/or companies and/or single vehicles of different types are organized to advance to contact in mutually supporting positions, or simply in a road march formation, their differing speeds rapidly reduce the organization to chaos.

This creates a huge traffic management problem requiring an enormous amount of otherwise unnecessary micro-management.

The player is supposed to be a Commander, not a military policeman.

I would prefer to be able to select multiple units and formations and specify a single speed for their advance or march, 5, 8, 10, 13, 15 kmh, whatever.

Maybe just let them all have their individual top speeds in the DB, but specify a standard speed for advance, move to contact, etc. in the DB? But in some situations I would want to advance at higher speeds than in others?
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RE: Formation and vehicle speed - 4/2/2020 3:13:31 PM   

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When it comes to formation movement, it's common that terrain prevents the units from moving at their default speeds, so there are other factors than the vehicle type or the desired speed. We're planning to have more customizable waypoints in the future, so the idea of settings speeds manually is interesting, but I think it can increase the amount of micromagement?


Know thyself!

(in reply to mmacguinness)
Post #: 2
RE: Formation and vehicle speed - 4/2/2020 5:20:58 PM   


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There are two aspects to the problem:
1. Smaller formations outpace larger formations of the same vehicle type at the same sppeed setting.
2. At a given speed setting, different types of vehicle have different speeds.

In regards to speed settings, I really mean Advance or Contact. I believe multiple formations of whatever size should be required to Advance or Move to Contact at the same speed in order to maintain cohesion and mutual support. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that that speed would be determined by the commander taking into consideration terrain and vehicle types and unit formations. The slowest vehicle and/or formation would be a critical input.

So for example, I have tanks advancing with infantry support. The tanks can advance at say 18km/hr, but the infantry at only 6km/hr. I need the tanks to go no faster than 6km/hr to protect the infantry, and I need the infantry to advance with the tanks to protect them. Combined arms?

In another post I provided links to US Army manuals regarding Soviet Army organization and tactics. In these manuals there are recommended speeds for various types of movement. These speeds apply to formations as a whole, not individual vehicles.

Fast I am not concerned about, I look at that as CHARGE!!!!

(in reply to Veitikka)
Post #: 3
RE: Formation and vehicle speed - 4/3/2020 11:18:53 AM   

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It reminds me that I've recently read quite interesting thread on boardgaming geek:


I don't have them on hand to post but there are tactical advance rate planning factors based on degree of opposition. In an opposed heavy fight the advance rate is about 1km per hour (going off memory here).

While a tank can theoretically move quite fast - in combat they don't, particularly WWII vehicles. You can't acquire targets at any range effectively when you are in the TC hatch being thrown about nor can the gunner do so on an unstabilzed platform. If buttoned up your awareness decreases considerably, it's simply tough to spot much of anything, especially if you are moving. Add in smoke, dust, etc and you get it.

If moving cross country at speed the vehicle will literally beat the crew to death. The driver may be Ok but anyone in the turret is screwed.

Even in the late 1980's my M60A3's (and my earlier M48A5's) could only move at about 12mph on a level road during gunnery to fire and that was with the so called stabilization system. Each tank is different, some settle at a little faster speed, others slower.

We typically used a short halt technique - that requires you to stop, let the vehicle stop rocking (if the driver is inexperienced or hit the brakes too hard) and let the gun settle. Cross country movement was also slow due to the factors I mentioned above - the TC and gunner can't acquire targets and it beats you badly if you go too fast (lots of guys with missing teeth and busted ribs can attest to this). All of this would have applied to a WWII tank crew only more so.

As the Marine tanker noted we typically don't want to outstrip our infantry support - so there's a factor of doctrine and tactics to take into account. Keep in mind infantrymen walk and they are often very tired, not well fed or cared for and the idea of running anywhere - especially forward toward the enemy - is just not realistic. The vehicles have to slow down to let them do their job and provide mutual protection. It takes time.

Apparently max speeds aren't practical to use.


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.

(in reply to mmacguinness)
Post #: 4
RE: Formation and vehicle speed - 4/3/2020 12:23:39 PM   


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The other thing to consider is the difficulty mechanized formations face in real life with life with maintaining cohesion.


(in reply to Perturabo)
Post #: 5
RE: Formation and vehicle speed - 4/7/2020 7:18:02 AM   


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True, but at least in RL they are supposed to be moving at comparable speeds, not whatever speed they like, whoch is essentially what AB models for now.

(in reply to 22sec)
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RE: Formation and vehicle speed - 4/7/2020 9:36:03 PM   


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I always start a mission with a lot of planning, I plan out routes, usually a different route for each column/company, or if there is a shortage of routes/roads stagger there movement to avoid traffic jams...

Look for terrain that overlooks objectives and can be used by tanks to provide supporting fire for advancing infantry, add some well timed arty and/or air support and you have combined arms...

Honestly I've found AB to need a lot less micromanagement than other games that model warfare on a similar scale, I'm not saying that it's perfect and waypoints where you can edit speed and SOP options would be a welcome addition....

Oh and 22sec, I think you are right.... Maintaining cohesion during modern mechanized must be quite a challenge... I've never been in the military but I think AB does a decent job of modeling it...


< Message edited by Lowlaner2012 -- 4/8/2020 11:00:41 AM >

(in reply to mmacguinness)
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RE: Formation and vehicle speed - 4/10/2020 11:40:15 PM   


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As mush as you want to avoid micromanaging at the company level you can’t because if you send a company in any of the prescribed formations into most terrain(ie forest, bldg etc) you will see some attrition. I normally break my companies into platoons although it loses the command structure but this allows me to maintain better control of an area with a company by covering multiple sectors and avoiding movement delays. A thought, is it possible to breakdown formations into subgroups that would be ideal or tell the AI company commander a general order such as assault this location at such time or defend by this time and they make due.

(in reply to Lowlaner2012)
Post #: 8
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