Love This Game

The new Cold War turned hot wargame from On Target Simulations, now expanded with the Player's Edition! Choose the NATO or Soviet forces in one of many scenarios or two linked campaigns. No effort was spared to model modern warfare realistically, including armor, infantry, helicopters, air support, artillery, electronic warfare, chemical and nuclear weapons. An innovative new asynchronous turn order means that OODA loops and various effects on C3 are accurately modeled as never before.

Moderators: WildCatNL, cbelva, IronManBeta, CapnDarwin, IronMikeGolf, Mad Russian

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MitchRapp
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Love This Game

Post by MitchRapp »

Been gaming in one form or another for over 50 years and I have to say it's been great playing this game. Point and counter point against the AI, blocking routes/holding the line/reinforcements etc etc just makes for a great game.

Nothing better on a weekend to have a nice tall brew in hand while reading reports b4 the battle, a true feeling of an arm chair general. The very first turn is the hardest for me. Studying the battlefield and deploying your troops only to get a first turn an oh S**T for missing something. At this point the clock ticking backwards is agonizing as you want to get in there and re-issue orders to try and correct your mistake.

Great game and I hope we continue to see support for this great product.

Regards to all.

sniperscope
Been gaming for over 55 years and will die while playing.
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Dorb
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RE: Love This Game

Post by Dorb »

I agree 100%. I finally got to play it this weekend, spent 6 hours just on the tutorial studying everything and learning, while going back and reading about the subunits in my books I have hung onto all these years. Having grown up during the cold war I have plenty of material to re-read.
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Mad Russian
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RE: Love This Game

Post by Mad Russian »

Welcome to the game guys. You'll find a lot of company here that can relate to your experiences.

Good Hunting.

MR
The most expensive thing in the world is free time.

Founder of HSG scenario design group for Combat Mission.
Panzer Command Ostfront Development Team.
Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.
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wadortch
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RE: Love This Game

Post by wadortch »

Hello all.

Not to put a damper of any kind on what I think is potentially a great game too, but after playing it pretty intensively now against a human and becoming somewhat bewildered about the AI mechanics actually work.

Someone mentioned in a post not long ago that the missed the designers notes section of the old (and wonderful mostly) SPI games. Development of such notes focused on how the AI is working would help hugely here.

Well, after experiencing a lot of seemingly inconsistent game actions, it would sure help me try to become a better and less frustrated player of the game to understand several things and above all, if there is not some basic imbalance in the game in favor of NATO that goes beyond doctrine or weapons superiority on the NATO side.

My list below comes from an ongoing head to head contest in the HM BS scenario.

1) Multiple Soviet artillery neutralizing artillery strikes against a singe Chieftan tank in the open cause no casualties. Multiple British artillery strikes against Soviet Tank and Infantry units under Hold orders in Urban Terrain cause multiple casualties. These are not dense targets--single infantry units and 2 tank units (in another next totaling 20 tanks before they get blown away in a single turn).

2) Soviet Tank units under assault orders in the same hex with British infantry fire at targets 2-5 hexes away and sit in the that same hex without causing any casualties to the infantry literally undertrack. British tanks fire into this same hex and cause casualties to the Soviet Tanks. How does the assault order actually work with respect to the unit so ordered executing the order and assaulting units in the target hex?

3) Helicopter tactics, same issue. How does the AI decide that a helicopter overhead a visible enemy unit engage targets hexes away (and I am not talking about enemy AD units firing at them) instead of the guys right under them?

I have read a lot about Soviet doctrine, superiority of NATO weapons in books and in the Forums for this game. But it does not seem to play out. Soviet tanks do not score kills at close range commensurate with NATO tanks at long range, etc.

ALL of which is to say some explanation about how the game AI is doing things would be very helpful for me to continue to play this game and to learn to play it well. Right now, it is real tough to tease out what is systematic, random, or simply biased in the execution of the turns.

Walt




Walt
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CapnDarwin
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RE: Love This Game

Post by CapnDarwin »

Walt,

Two questions so I know where to start. What version of the game are you playing? What scenario is it? I'll jump back on this tomorrow with some insight into the AI.
OTS is looking forward to Southern Storm getting released!

Cap'n Darwin aka Jim Snyder
On Target Simulations LLC
raventhefuhrer
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RE: Love This Game

Post by raventhefuhrer »

Hello. I can't claim to be very experienced or skilled in the game but I will try to answer your questions.

1) Everything is, essentially, dice rolls. So it's possible for a single tank sitting out in a field not to be hit by artillery...this may even be likely, since a single AFV in a 500 sq/m area is not necessarily a huge target. And even if they do hit, there's no guarantee an artillery shell will kill. Likewise it sounds like the Soviets were relatively high density targets. Remember that a 'unit' of Soviets tends to be a lot bigger than a NATO equivalent. In this game, a NATO counter represents a platoon, whereas a Soviet counter represents a company. This is why there are 4 tanks in a NATO 'unit' and 12 or so in a single Soviet 'unit'.

2) Only thing I can say here is that I believe units will shoot at everything they can see - so while they are firing at the British tanks, they should also be firing at the infantry to. Again, since all combat is essentially random dice rolls it's possible that you got unlucky and your tanks missed their shots while the enemy hit his. Also another possibility is the time of day or weather may have been affecting your ability to shoot accurately in ways that it did not affect the British - perhaps where thermal optics come into play, for example.

As for the infantry, well, it's very hard to kill infantrymen hiding in a city, so you should expect quite a bit of time and effort to root out British Infantrymen in cover. If I were you, I'd engage them with my own infantry and then bypass them with my tanks.

3)Helicopters I have no idea about...their entire behavior seems strange and random to me. And the manner in which AA assets engage them is also hit and miss for me.

I've personally noticed that Soviets do kill a lot more at close range. Often at standoff range I cause immense casualties, but the Soviets come in such large numbers that the second or third wave makes it to my guys, and if they get that close I'm usually pretty screwed and my soldiers get massacred.
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cbelva
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RE: Love This Game

Post by cbelva »

ORIGINAL: wadortch

Hello all.

Not to put a damper of any kind on what I think is potentially a great game too, but after playing it pretty intensively now against a human and becoming somewhat bewildered about the AI mechanics actually work.

Someone mentioned in a post not long ago that the missed the designers notes section of the old (and wonderful mostly) SPI games. Development of such notes focused on how the AI is working would help hugely here.

Well, after experiencing a lot of seemingly inconsistent game actions, it would sure help me try to become a better and less frustrated player of the game to understand several things and above all, if there is not some basic imbalance in the game in favor of NATO that goes beyond doctrine or weapons superiority on the NATO side.

I can guarantee you that there is no "coded in-game NATO bias". In fact we have had posts accusing us of the opposite. That the NATO tanks were too weak against the Soviets. Unfortunately this is just a computer program and it does what it does. Computer AI will always only be just so good. It can't and won't mimic appropriate human behavior all the time. With the technology that we have today, I think the AI in FPC does quite well.
My list below comes from an ongoing head to head contest in the HM BS scenario.

1) Multiple Soviet artillery neutralizing artillery strikes against a singe Chieftan tank in the open cause no casualties. Multiple British artillery strikes against Soviet Tank and Infantry units under Hold orders in Urban Terrain cause multiple casualties. These are not dense targets--single infantry units and 2 tank units (in another next totaling 20 tanks before they get blown away in a single turn).

There are different factors that go into casualties caused by arty. One of the main culprits that I have found when I have noticed one's side arty is not as effective is the number of guns firing. That's on the scenario designer. The caliber and number of guns can make a big different.
2) Soviet Tank units under assault orders in the same hex with British infantry fire at targets 2-5 hexes away and sit in the that same hex without causing any casualties to the infantry literally undertrack. British tanks fire into this same hex and cause casualties to the Soviet Tanks. How does the assault order actually work with respect to the unit so ordered executing the order and assaulting units in the target hex?

I need to know a little more info. Where is the hex in question? Are the tanks and inf in an urban hex? Infantry in urban are hard for tanks to kill. There are a lot of calculations ongoing and routines being called ref spotting and firing. Capn D can speak to the technical side of this since I am not a programmer, just a player who have had a lot of time in the game. Yes they will fire on a unit in another hex even if they have units in the same hex that are engaging. Units in other hexes can and are a threat to them too. My experience, they fire on them both. However, they usually fire on the units in their hexes more than others.

Think of assault as the old cavalry charge. The idea is to move fast towards the enemy you are attacking. You use it is you want to actually want to assault the enemy's hex. I don't use it very often. Its a good way to get units killed since they are more exposed as they move towards the enemy. \Since units are moving fast, they are not using cover very well. On the other hand, deliberate movement is slower, the units is using available cover and possibly even fire and maneuver techniques.
3) Helicopter tactics, same issue. How does the AI decide that a helicopter overhead a visible enemy unit engage targets hexes away (and I am not talking about enemy AD units firing at them) instead of the guys right under them?

As far as spotting, basically what I said above. I see them doing both. Capn D will have to speak to the technical side of things.
I have read a lot about Soviet doctrine, superiority of NATO weapons in books and in the Forums for this game. But it does not seem to play out. Soviet tanks do not score kills at close range commensurate with NATO tanks at long range, etc.

We could argue all day on some of these things. My experience is that Soviet tanks are more deadly up close, but so are NATO tanks. That naturally gives them an advantage. Soviet's greatest strength is their number. NATO tanks dug in in defensive terrain have a real advantage and the Soviets have a hard time assaulting them. But if you were to flip it around, the same NATO tanks trying to assault Soviet tanks dug in have a hard time too.
ALL of which is to say some explanation about how the game AI is doing things would be very helpful for me to continue to play this game and to learn to play it well. Right now, it is real tough to tease out what is systematic, random, or simply biased in the execution of the turns.

Walt

I was an army officer in the 80 who trained to fight this war (So glad I didn't have to). I have played a lot of wargame and have found that very few have struck me like Red Storm in putting me back in the command track as an operations officer planning and coordinating the battlefield. It is not perfect and it has its warts. But the development team is trying to learn and improve as we go along. We are constantly looking at the combat model, the AI, etc, evalutating them and tweaking them by trying to push them a little farther. But they will never be perfect. But as a simulator that allows a player to experience the decision making process that a commander goes thru as he plans and fights the battle, it does a pretty good job.
MikeGER
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RE: Love This Game

Post by MikeGER »

ORIGINAL: raventhefuhrer
...since a single AFV in a 500 sq/m area is not necessarily a huge target.

Let's do some math[:)]

The distance between two hex-centers is 500m by design
(2 * inner.circle.radius.of.hexagon = 500m , this lead to a side-length of a hexagon of 288.7 m ,
so the area of the given hexagon is: 216 543.7 m^2)

Now if an AFV covers about 40m^2 a single round has a direct (contact) hit probability of 1 / 5414
(well, the 'sensitive area' with the AFV in the center, where a shell of a certain type results in a softkill of the given AFV is a field better left to the experts here.
You can easy just exchange the 40 m^2 against a better fitting value


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DoubleDeuce
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RE: Love This Game

Post by DoubleDeuce »

Wasn't there just another thread where someone was seeing the opposite, Soviet Artillery crushing NATO forces and NATO Artillery causing little if any damage? I admit I've spent more time in the editor than actually playing so can't quantify either, just thought I saw the opposite posted just the other day.
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CapnDarwin
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RE: Love This Game

Post by CapnDarwin »

@MikeGER, sounds about right. [:D]
OTS is looking forward to Southern Storm getting released!

Cap'n Darwin aka Jim Snyder
On Target Simulations LLC
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cbelva
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RE: Love This Game

Post by cbelva »

ORIGINAL: Double Deuce

Wasn't there just another thread where someone was seeing the opposite, Soviet Artillery crushing NATO forces and NATO Artillery causing little if any damage? I admit I've spent more time in the editor than actually playing so can't quantify either, just thought I saw the opposite posted just the other day.
There is a lot of this going around. The game is like that and I have been guilty over the years of thinking that were was something wrong with the game (or even a bias) when in reality there were other reasons. Tactics, terrain, weapon density, and just plain old bad luck. I was watching a video recently where the person narrating the video was complaining that the arty (Soviet arty) was too effective and was chewing up his armor. The problem was that he had his armor units all stacked up. His problem was not the Soviet arty, but the tactics he was using. Stacked units are highly prized targets for arty an air units.
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wadortch
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RE: Love This Game

Post by wadortch »

Guys.

I don't want to start some kind of insulting smiley face thing here.

My thread started with a request for the developers of the game to provide some info as to how the AI works.

I have a Soviet tanks unit (of 3 tanks) in 100% cover (woods) taking hits over several turns from British Artillery. Based on MikeGer's math the odds of hitting the Soviet tanks is (without taking into consideration their cover) 3/5414 vs the 1/5414 for the British tank sitting in the open. So why am I taking multiple hits and the Brit tank none given these odds? I just want to know how the AI works and want to reiterate I think this a great game.

In another thread I have asked the developers to describe how 2.06 changes the rules/discussion in the manual published with the game.

In particular I would like to know what the AI will do when units under an assault order enter a hex occupied by enemy units under the following circumstances:

1) Units ordered to assault a hex and assume screen orders after they arrive; and,

2) Units ordered to assault a hex and assume hold orders after they arrive; and,

3) What are the priority targets for units under assault orders in a hex occupied by enemy units? As I noted before, I have units in this situation that are firing at units hexes away and doing nothing to deal with the enemy units in the hex they occupy. The basic question, what does the assault order actually mean with regard to enemy units in the assaulted hex?

Last, the manual says units will assume various orders when they encounter units on their move and when the arrive at there destination. Based on 2.06 what changes to the manual are appropriate regarding this behavior?





Walt
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CapnDarwin
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RE: Love This Game

Post by CapnDarwin »

Walt,

Arty issue - There is no 100% cover but its high. 1 unit in the open (really mixed some small hill trees, buildings, not flat earth like field). Really both are going to be hard to hit. The question Charles posed was what units are shooting at these tanks. 6 tubes of Soviet 122m is less if a kill thread per tank than say 8 155mm British tubes. Soviets are firing HE. Brits could be dropping ICM (was the animation of fire the same as the Soviet HE all the time? So there are many factors that could lead to what look on the surface to be biased, but is really not. The last element is having a good or bad day as luck goes. Sometimes the die rolls just hammer you. I've been on both sides. Sucks when it happens to your guys, great to see it when it is the bad guys. That's war.

I'll chat with Rob Thursday evening and work to confirm what the AI does coming off various orders.
OTS is looking forward to Southern Storm getting released!

Cap'n Darwin aka Jim Snyder
On Target Simulations LLC
MikeGER
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RE: Love This Game

Post by MikeGER »

a little math about the other factors of the problem[:)]

Consider a British 155mm shell weights about twice that of a Soviet 122 shell,

... i found a cute WW II Soviet pictogram (whats written in the text?, translation please....)
Image

that estimates 152 mm shell dig out a 5 m crater while the 122mm does a 3 m crater.
(now if you take dimension of the carter as a rule of thumb for estimating the strength of the blastwave and the area where it still does a softkill on a AFV)
the 152shell crater has an area of 19.6 m^2 the 122shell crater has an area of 7,1 m^2 )

so you can guestimate a 155mm shelling on a hex roughly three times more likely to kill a target then 122mm shelling
(the Brithis shell has a SA value of "8" the Soivet 122 an SA value of "6" in the game-tables (it surely in a logarithmic scale)

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CapnDarwin
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RE: Love This Game

Post by CapnDarwin »

There is a formula involved in getting SA values based on explosive weight of a shell.

As I posted above, many things in the calculations are fixed and there are variables like cover, target unit size (footprint), sighted versus unsighted, readiness of arty crew, etc. Still can boil down to some bad luck.

To get back to the OP questions, I will be chatting with Rob and the team tonight and I can review this and other questions and get back to folks.
OTS is looking forward to Southern Storm getting released!

Cap'n Darwin aka Jim Snyder
On Target Simulations LLC
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Mad Russian
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RE: Love This Game

Post by Mad Russian »

ORIGINAL: wadortch

Guys.

I don't want to start some kind of insulting smiley face thing here.

My thread started with a request for the developers of the game to provide some info as to how the AI works.

I have a Soviet tanks unit (of 3 tanks) in 100% cover (woods) taking hits over several turns from British Artillery. Based on MikeGer's math the odds of hitting the Soviet tanks is (without taking into consideration their cover) 3/5414 vs the 1/5414 for the British tank sitting in the open. So why am I taking multiple hits and the Brit tank none given these odds? I just want to know how the AI works and want to reiterate I think this a great game.

What MikeGer gives is the chances to hit a unit sitting in a 500 meter hex without any control. In other words I give a location sight unseen and they fire at it. Very little artillery fire is delivered that way. H&I is the rest is not.

The normal artillery mission is directed. That means someone with a radio is sitting somewhere they can see where the fire falls and adjusts it as needed. That takes the 1/5414 down to about 1/4.

More targets in the hex generally means more units damaged.

Sorry for the delay. Been busy and missed your question.

Good Hunting.

MR
The most expensive thing in the world is free time.

Founder of HSG scenario design group for Combat Mission.
Panzer Command Ostfront Development Team.
Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.
WABAC
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RE: Love This Game

Post by WABAC »

A great link for an examination of weight of fire (from a British perspective) is this place: http://nigelef.tripod.com/wt_of_fire.htm. It is mainly WWII data, but he seems to have added more content on post-war British artillery that may be of interest. Or maybe I just noticed it since I am playing Cold War games.

I also ran into two papers on Soviet artillery "norms" that might be of interest: www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a216371.pdf. According to the majors the Soviets didn't rely on spotters, or at least they weren't required.
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ultradave
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RE: Love This Game

Post by ultradave »

cbelva said:

>I was an army officer in the 80 who trained to fight this war (So glad I didn't have to). I have played a lot of wargame and have found that very few have struck me like Red Storm in putting me back in the command track as an operations officer > planning and coordinating the battlefield.

Exactly the same for me. It's that same level.
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loki100
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RE: Love This Game

Post by loki100 »

ORIGINAL: MikeGER

... i found a cute WW II Soviet pictogram (whats written in the text?, translation please....)


roughly can be translated as "these holes indicate the strength of the high explosive used" (there is a phrase in the middle my Russian is no longer (if it ever was) good enough for). Its designed in part as a technical aid (the various shell weights are those the Soviets used), in effect use artillery to dig an emergency trench line.
MikeGER
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RE: Love This Game

Post by MikeGER »

THX for the translation.[8D] so it was what i thought part of a Soviet Field Manual ...and not out of some comic book ;)
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