"Relative spotting" and information sharing

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RollsRoyce031
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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing

Post by RollsRoyce031 »

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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Perturabo
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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing

Post by Perturabo »

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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thewood1
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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing

Post by thewood1 »

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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exsonic01
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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing

Post by exsonic01 »

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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 [:D]

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.
thewood1
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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing

Post by thewood1 »

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.
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Artillerist
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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing

Post by Artillerist »

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..
Policefreak55
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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing

Post by Policefreak55 »

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.
22sec
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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing

Post by 22sec »

I can’t 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 don’t 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 don’t react well to receiving fire, and ideally them or any conceivable unit of mine that I don’t 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 can’t trust my subordinates to routinely act in a sensible matter this is all moot because I’m 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.
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lancer
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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing

Post by lancer »

Hi,
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 don’t 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 don’t react well to receiving fire, and ideally them or any conceivable unit of mine that I don’t 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 can’t trust my subordinates to routinely act in a sensible matter this is all moot because I’m 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.

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thewood1
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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing

Post by thewood1 »

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.
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varangy
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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing

Post by varangy »

ORIGINAL: thewood1

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.

The ability to control units and to what level and the ability for the units to have a common enemy unit pool are two different things.
thewood1
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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing

Post by thewood1 »

It is obviously related in the way units communicate with each other and pass information. Its all connected. If you are upset about borg spotting, you should be upset with god-like control of what that unit does once it spots something.
You are like puss filled boil on nice of ass of bikini model. You are nasty to everybody but then try to sweeten things up with a nice post somewhere else. That's nice but you're still a boil on a beautiful thing! - BDukes
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varangy
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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing

Post by varangy »

ORIGINAL: thewood1

Its all connected.

No, in a computer game its not connected.
thewood1
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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing

Post by thewood1 »

Then how do you do it then? To have borg spotting, how do you represent the networking of information and the slowness in information moving?

Even CM's simplistic approach requires that abstracted network.
You are like puss filled boil on nice of ass of bikini model. You are nasty to everybody but then try to sweeten things up with a nice post somewhere else. That's nice but you're still a boil on a beautiful thing! - BDukes
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varangy
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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing

Post by varangy »

If you set basic difficulty in CM, you get borg spotting. If you select elite, you dont. What does this change to your behaviour in planning?

You see the units the same, you direct and give orders the same. Nothing changes in that regard.
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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing

Post by exsonic01 »

ORIGINAL: 22sec

I can’t 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 don’t 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 don’t react well to receiving fire, and ideally them or any conceivable unit of mine that I don’t 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 can’t trust my subordinates to routinely act in a sensible matter this is all moot because I’m 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.
Good post.

And, very chaotic situations can make things very ugly... Imagine dark rainy night, your comms were cut off due to enemy jamming, and your units were moving to higher ground to reestablish comm. Your units were in flanking move around the region very near to possible enemy defense. Then, your unit faced the unknown contact approaching from different ridgeline, very suspicious. Because your comms were cut off, your commander and any of the people have no idea about what is going on. Then your commander decides to engage. It was very reasonable decision for him and for our units. However, it turns out that...

Such events are very possible to occur XD

I think AB could modify some features from CMO. I'm not saying AB should copy them, but the idea of indirect control by mission-oriented control is kinda what I really want to see in AB. I think it would be possible for AB to find its own way to depict those indirect spotting, friendly fire, info-sharing along tree-structures OOB and etc...
WelshZeCorgi
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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing

Post by WelshZeCorgi »

I agree with this idea. It would make it more interesting.
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nikolas93TS
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RE: "Relative spotting" and information sharing

Post by nikolas93TS »

It is a cool idea, but I am not sure if there is place for it in AB. Even Command Ops 2, with highly autonomous AI and where such feature would be probably even more appropriate, doesn't have it. After all, most commanders are briefed on overall objectives before the mission, so longer delay due to will imply they are less responsive but not totally lost.
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