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  1. Like
    ncc1701e got a reaction from Falaise in AI triggers small tutorial   
    Orders for AI group number 2:
    This group represents the infantry squads that are inside the M1126 Stryker carrier vehicles. Basically, they have quite nothing to do. They have to wait for the Stryker carrier vehicles to be in place i.e. to have executed Order 4 of Group 3.
    So, the Setup just says to wait from 0 to 20 minutes (I should have put a value higher than the scenario length here) for the Strykers to arrive in position.

    Once the trigger fires, they can execute their next order that is Order 2. And, Order 2, says to the infantry to disembark with once again the parameter "Passengers Dismount" and to do a "Max Assault".

    They will have to:
    Go to the yellow square doing a "Max Assault". Perform an area fire while advancing on Target 2 (squares in red). At the end of the movement, be sure to still face those buildings (the square in green gives the direction to face).
  2. Like
    ncc1701e got a reaction from Falaise in AI triggers small tutorial   
    Orders for AI group number 3:
    This group contains the M1126 Stryker carrier vehicles. I would like them to advance toward Target 1. Thus, I am using the Setup plus 3 Orders.
    Again the Setup is without terrain zone to keep the existing deployment of my troops. The vehicles will wait 3 minutes before moving except if some enemy units are entering in terrain zone defined by Trigger Red 1.

    Order 2 contains several things:
    First, advance to their movement zone (squares in yellow). Second, perform an area fire while advancing on Target 1 (squares in red). At last, at the end of the movement, be sure to face those buildings (the square in green gives the direction to face).
    As you can see, this order 2 does not contain a trigger. So, after 7 minutes, the units will switch to the next one i.e. order 3.
    Order 3 gives one minute, between 7 and 8 minutes, for the vehicles to reverse. That will generate a smoke screen that will be usually for my infantry attack.

    Last order, Order 4, consists of:
    An advance to the yellow squares. An area fire on those buildings in front of us (squares in red). By security, I am still adding a face order (square in green) to be sure of their orientation at the end.
    What is important to see here is that I am adding the option "Can Trigger" just under Order 4 in the graphical interface. Doing that, I am generating another form of trigger. This is a trigger that will activate once the current Order 4 is finished. Please also note that I have selected "Passengers Dismount" at the bottom of the graphical interface to tell the infantry this is time to go...
  3. Like
    ncc1701e got a reaction from Falaise in AI triggers small tutorial   
    So that you are not lost with the graphical interface, I will detail exactly what to be done in order to create orders and selecting triggers. Here, I am taking AI group number 1, as an example, but there is absolutely no unit inside. This is just to show you the needed manipulation.
    In the first screenshot, you can see that there is nothing in the red colored zone. This is the default Setup. To add one order, you need to click on the Add button. You cannot apply a trigger on a Setup. This means you can't trigger reinforcements by a trigger as I understand:

    Once the Add button has been performed, go back to the Setup order by clicking on Order 2 and selecting Setup:

    On the bottom, you can now see and click on Wait For button:

    A pop up appears allowing you to select the trigger you have created (I will explain the Group 3, Order 4 value later):

    Select Trigger Blue 1, or another for example, then click on OK:

    You can now play with the + and - buttons to adjust timing of the order.

    Here the values are Exit Between 00:00 and 01:00 and Wait For = Trigger Blue 1. It means that, if units were in AI group number 1, those units will wait during 1 minute the occurrence of Trigger Blue 1, so waiting friendly units passing over the terrain objective defining Trigger Blue 1.
    Two cases here:
    If friendly units are passing over Trigger Blue 1, between 0 minute (start of the scenario) and 1 minute after the beginning of the scenario, the units of AI group 1 will immediately perform the order defined in Order 2. If the trigger is not activated 1 minute after the beginning of the scenario, the units of AI group 1 will perform the order defined in Order 2 anyway. If you want absolutely the trigger to be waited before going to Order 2, set the second timer to a value higher than the scenario length.
  4. Like
    ncc1701e got a reaction from Falaise in AI triggers small tutorial   
    Before continuing I would like to give some few reminders on the AI. The AI is programmed by painting on the map the orders that must be performed by each AI group created. AI is not complicated. You just need to practice.
    You have four options on the 2D map:
    Movement zone:
    You can paint square in yellow by left clicking on each of them. The map area that you will define is the zone where you want your AI group to arrive at the end of a particular order. The TacAI will determine the way to go there so if you want to influence the desire path for reaching an objective, you will need to create several orders. Do not forget that the zone that you will define must be large enough for your units. If your AI group contains four tanks, a movement zone of one square is may be not a good idea because the four tanks will not enter in one single square. You may define discontinuous squares. Again, practice to master this is the way to go.
    Fire zone:
    You can ask your units in the AI group to perform an area fire of a given map zone. For that, you need to paint the square of the zone to attack by using Ctrl-left click. This will paint your square in red instead of yellow. Please note that you can perfectly combine a movement zone and a fire zone in one order. This way, you can ask your units to move to a given position to perform an area fire on something, just do not forget the LOS rules apply. There is a second important thing to know. The area fire order has the lowest priority for your AI group so if your units find a good target, they will engage it first.
    Facing zone:
    Sometimes, a movement will end up with your units not looking toward the enemy. To mitigate this, you can select one particular square that your units will face at the end of their movement. To select this square, do Alt-left click on it. It will be painted in green. Since this is a single square, I recommend not to select the green square too close of your ending movement zone. Remember all your units will face the same square...
    Withdraw zone:
    You can ask your units to retreat. Your units will deploy smoke screens if possible. And, if there are vehicles in your AI group, those vehicles will reverse showing their big front armor. But, this is useful also in attack to create a smoke screen for your units. For this, you need to select one particular square by Shift-left clicking on it. The square will be pink. And the square must be in the direction your units/vehicles must face while reversing.
    Once the AI menu selected in the editor, you have access to several buttons in the below screenshot:

    The yellow colored zone, in the screenshot, gives access to all the possible AI plans within a given scenario. There are up to five AI plans per side plus a special Support Targets plan for artillery and air support strikes at the beginning of the scenario. Basically, one AI plan contains the orders for several AI groups. You can perfectly finish a scenario with one unique AI plan. The other plans are here to surprise your human opponent by new sets of AI orders for your AI groups.
    The orange colored zone, just below (yes yes this is orange), allows to increase the percentage of a given AI plan to be selected. If you have one AI plan, the default value of “Used Frequently” is the one to take. According to the manual: "A Plan with “Used Sometimes” is two times more likely to be chosen than “Used Rarely” while “Used Frequently” is four times more likely to be selected".
    The pink colored zone gives access to each AI group to give them some orders. Pay attention to select the correct AI plan (Blue or Red) and then the correct AI group to not mix up everything. With a litte practice, this works like a charm.
    The green colored zone allows to select, within one given AI group, several orders. By default, the first order of an AI group is Setup. You can use the button Add to add more. The subsequent order will be named Order 2, ...
    The white colored zone permits to select several actions that your units must do (orders, floors to occupy, stances, ...). I invite you to read the manual to understand each possible value.
    The red colored zone contains two importants values. Exit between 00:00 and 20:00. What does it mean? The units is the number of minutes and seconds since the beginning of the whole scenario. This concept is key to understand how it works. According to the manual: “Exit Between ... and ...” tells the AI Group at what scenario time to leave their current Map Zone and when to arrive at the next Map Zone.
    The first number tells the Group to stay at the current Map Zone until the specified scenario time is reached. With this setting a Group never moves on to the next Order before the specified time is reached.
    The second number defines the latest time that an AI Group should arrive at it’s next order, and causes the Group to try very hard to get to the next Order in the plan before the specified scenario time is reached. This does not mean the Group will do it, just that it will try. If it has taken excessive casualties, is immobilized or heavily engaged, it may blow the set time. It will still attempt to execute the next order in the plan, just not within the time that the scenario designer allotted for it."
    The blue colored zone is the one interesting in this tutorial because, clicking on it, this allows to select the triggers that we have created.
    Now that this brief summary is done, let's go to the orders for each AI group.
  5. Like
    ncc1701e got a reaction from Falaise in AI triggers small tutorial   
    At this stage, you need to split your forces into several AI groups. This is at your discretion but you can have a maximum of 16 AI groups per side. For this small amount of forces, and for what I want them to do, I have created three AI groups.
    AI group number 2
    This group will represent the infantry squads that are inside the M1126 Stryker carrier vehicles. This group does not take a lot of action in this scenario. Its main objective is to size the ditch once the M1126 Stryker have created a good smoke screen in front of them. To select the units inside AI group number 2, just select all the infantry squad and press the F2 key. You will see a [A2] tag. This is to say that the units are now in AI group number 2.

    AI group number 3
    This group will represent the M1126 Stryker carrier vehicles. Their objective is to reach waypoint number 1 (see first post) and generate a smoke screen. We can also imagine they can do an area fire on the ditch to suppress any enemy located there. Select all the M1126 Strykers of 3rd platoon and press the F3 key. You will see a [A3] tag. This is to say that the units are now in AI group number 3.

    AI group number 4
    This group represent the mortar team. Their objective is to perform area fire respectively on Target 1, Target 2 and then Target 3. Select all the units of the Mortar Section and press the F4 key. You will see a [A4] tag. This is to say that the units are now in AI group number 4.

    As you can see, AI groups selection is done based on the mission objectives to be done. You can perfectly assign several units from several formations inside the same AI group. All units are, by default, inside AI group number 1.
  6. Like
    ncc1701e got a reaction from Falaise in AI triggers small tutorial   
    The 2D map view is below.

    First thing to do is to paint terrain objectives that will be used to activate the triggers. You can have up to 15 objectives. Some of them to be used for victory
    points, ... some will be used for triggers. I am using Terrain Objectives (Blue) since I am acting on the Blue AI.

    Objective number 1
    Objective number 1 will be used for activating a first trigger to change the on map mortar fire from Target 1 to Target 2. Remember, I want to avoid friendly casualties. I am declaring Objective number 1 as AI Trigger (friendly) because it is triggered by friendly forces reaching this terrain location. I am calling it "Trigger Blue 1".

    Objective number 2
    Objective number 2 is basically the same but it will be used to change the on map mortar fire from Target 2 to Target 3. Again, I am declaring Objective number 2 as AI Trigger (friendly) because it is triggered by friendly forces reaching this terrain location. I am calling it "Trigger Blue 2".

    Objective number 3
    I want my 3rd platoon to react to an enemy move. So, to show how it works, I have created Objective number 3. I am declaring Objective number 3 as AI Trigger (enemy) because it is triggered by enemy forces reaching this terrain location. I am calling it "Trigger Red 1".

    Here is the 3D view in Scenario Author Test mode. The triggers are invisible playing in normal modes.

  7. Like
    ncc1701e got a reaction from Falaise in AI triggers small tutorial   
    Following a request of @Badger73, here is a small tutorial for introducing the usage of AI triggers. I am using CMSF2. Since I am beginning with IA, experts are welcome to comment to provide better solutions that the one I will present just after.
    Here is my small force.

    They are facing those enemy positions.

    And thus some few enemy squads. I have removed the RPG-7 on purpose for the tutorial.

    I would like to teach the AI to do several things.
    Phase 1:
    The on map mortar team will perform area fire on the ditch inside Target 1 Meanwhile, the other guys will advance inside their vehicles toward Target 1. But, I would like them to advance reacting to an enemy move.
    Phase 2:
    While the vehicules with the squads, still inside them, are progressing to Target 1. I would like the area fire to switch to Target 2 then Target 3 to avoid friendly fire casualties. Once the vehicles are at waypoint 1. I would like them to pop some smoke And, with the smoke screen in place, I would like the squads to dismount to assault the ditch.
    So how I can do this using the editor and AI triggers?
    To be continued...
  8. Like
    ncc1701e got a reaction from SlowMotion in What I'd like to see in CM3...   
    In fact, I do not need CM3. I will be more than happy with just few enhancements :
    1. Ability to split squads inside vehicule to dismount only the needed team.
    2. Ability to keep damage on a map like the old Operation of CM1 (a modern urban battle could be splitted In several scenario on the same map)
    3. In the editor, increase the number of AI groups - 32 instead of 16 (to allow more flexibility)
    4. In the editor, increase the number of Terrain objectives - 30 instead of 15 (to add more AI triggers)
    5. In the editor, allow Setup of AI group to be linked to an AI trigger (to add an AI group on the map depending on the location of the other side not only of a time period)
    6. In the editor, allow more control of AI indirect fire missions (duration, smoke or normal rounds, initiated by AI triggers)
    7. Add more default flavor objects
    But, if one would like a wish for CM3, introduce machine learning for AI so that it can learn battle after battle the best way to defeat you (both for StratAI and TacAI).
  9. Like
    ncc1701e reacted to 37mm in Heaven & Earth: The Delta   
    Now that the "Open Beta" has been released, @Aquila-SmartWargames has started the campaign set upon the Delta map...
  10. Like
    ncc1701e got a reaction from JulianJ in Consensus for the Best CMSF2 Module?!?   
    Also Syrian Air Force and some toys like ZSU-23-4 Shilka and ZU-23-2, on pickup, are coming with NATO module.
    In fact, to summarize, each module is complementary, there is no best.
  11. Like
    ncc1701e reacted to Combatintman in Heaven & Earth - "Open Beta"   
    Brilliant mate - I'll finish my two scenarios by the end of March to keep my promise - exceptional leadership on your part to both start this project and bring it to fruition and this would be nothing without the contribution of the modders who have done a simply stunning job.  Bloody well done mate and everybody else out there who put the hard yards in.
    Africa next … you know it makes sense … 😉
  12. Like
    ncc1701e reacted to 37mm in Heaven & Earth - "Open Beta"   
    Heaven & Earth, the "Vietnam-esque" Super-mod, is still very much a work in progress but I think we're now at a stage where we can start an 'open beta'.
    Enjoy & don't hesitate to give the team some feedback.
    The download link (includes the manual)...
    The manual only (for those who just wish to peruse) link...
    The kind of stuff that you can expect...
    Content includes...
    Two "Bong-Hai Civil War" Era Campaigns (one original 15 mission campaign by @puje and a 7 mission "conversion" campaign by myself). Eleven "Bong-Hai Civil War" Era scenarios (all "conversions"). Nine Modern Era scenarios (one original scenario by @Sgt.Squarehead and eight simple conversions by myself). Three Quick battle map conversions by @Combatintman.  
    Installation & set-up
    The Heaven & Earth modpack is designed for CMSF2 version 2.02, it is advised that you use no other mods alongside Heaven & Earth as it is a complete package with a unique UI, sounds, scripts, special effects, vehicle's & weapons... many of which are swapped by the use of tags.
    Place the mod pack into your empty mod folder in C:\Users\user\Documents\Battlefront\Combat Mission\Shock Force 2\User Data
    Place the contents of the scenario folder into your scenario folder in C:\Users\user\Documents\Battlefront\Combat Mission\Shock Force 2\Game Files
    Place the contents of the campaign folder into your campaign folder in C:\Users\user\Documents\Battlefront\Combat Mission\Shock Force 2\Game Files
    Place the contents of the map folder into your map folder in C:\Users\user\Documents\Battlefront\Combat Mission\Shock Force 2\Game Files

    In terms of settings, because Heaven & Earth maps are often more complex than the desert maps of CMSF2, you may find it useful to slightly reduce your '3d Model Quality' settings... 'Balanced' or 'Improved' should be sufficient for smooth gameplay. Remember you can change your '3d Model Quality 'in-game using Shift+[ & Shift+]. You can also toggle shadows with Alt+W.
    Some of the newly created objects may look odd with shaders off. Alt+R will toggle your shaders in-game.
  13. Like
    ncc1701e reacted to John Kettler in John Kettler's Omnibus Post   
    When this comes out, the Navy's going to need more aircraft carriers! The original "Top Gun" had a huge impact on naval aviation and the Navy in general, and I expect this will cause interest to explode. Cinematography has made an Oscar-sized leap in this film, and the actors have experienced ACM (Air Combat Maneuvering) AKA dogfighting with the best the Navy has--while sometimes pulling 7-8 Gs! All the trailers and some wonderful stuff from behind the scenes. Dying to see this!

    John Kettler
  14. Like
    ncc1701e reacted to John Kettler in John Kettler's Omnibus Post   

    You're welcome. He and his outfit were heavily involved in "Fury". Millions were spent transporting many AFVs from his collection to another part of England.

    Restored Me-109 G6, flying under power of the DB 605A engine.


    John Kettler
  15. Like
    ncc1701e got a reaction from IanL in Map size relationship with OOB size   
    Thanks for the tips. I have run several quick battles to see the map size chosen with "tiny" forces and "medium" map size. This is good insight.
    I am extending the map. Back in few months... 😃
  16. Like
    ncc1701e reacted to Combatintman in Map size relationship with OOB size   
    @ncc1701e ultimately every tactical problem is unique which is why the military places great store in planning.  As a very rough guide to making your map an appropriate size for a company vs company engagement you need to consider what is a viable defensive frontage.  To do that you need an understanding of your key weapon ranges and force structure.
    Taking infantry as an example - the standard effective range for modern infantry weapons is in the ballpark of 300m.
    If your force size is a company, it will generally have three platoons.
    Applying some of the principles of defence:
    Mutual support Depth So with mutual support, that means that each element should be able to support each other.  Remembering that the effective weapon range of your weapons is 300m then your individual squads should be no more than 300m away from each other.  That would make the defensive frontage in the ballpark of 1500m to 1800m in open terrain.  For depth, most defensive layouts will have an outpost line and each platoon in the company will generally have two squads up and one squad back.  Likewise the company defence will generally go with two platoons up and one platoon back which would give a depth of about 900m to a kilometre.
    Now you have to build enough space on your map for the attacking force to manoeuvre - that would make the minimum map size for a fairly open map something in the region of 2.5km x 2km.
  17. Like
    ncc1701e got a reaction from Freyberg in China, Israel, France and other TO&Es!?!   
    The new Scorpion program is starting to be delivered right now:
  18. Like
    ncc1701e reacted to MOS:96B2P in Hunt mode - unrealistic exahaustion   
    A heavy load of ammo will cause troops to fatigue.  Fitness definitely will effect fatigue.  Using Hunt or Fast for 50 meters will, noticeably , cause fatigue.  All movement commands will cause some level of fatigue except Move (walking).  Troops can actually improve their fatigue state while using Move.  My default movement command is Quick.  Quick from cover to cover with Pause.  Pause (since troops go prone or at least kneel) will help break any OpFor LOS on the team, will rest the team and allow the team to spot.  Pause used at certain waypoints will reduce fatigue of all the movement commands except Move.  Troops can use Move with no fatigue penalty.  Of course it is often not practical to use Move (walk) depending on the situation. 
    I generally use Hunt with Pause for scouts who I think are about to make contact but I'm not sure exactly when/where they will draw fire.  On Hunt the team of scouts will halt and go prone.  Then the overwatch and the rest of the platoon can begin to deal with the shooters.      
  19. Like
    ncc1701e reacted to IanL in Map size relationship with OOB size   
    There is no solid consensus for OOB size vs map size. There have been a handful of threads discussing it over the years but it very much depends on what you want to do. A scenario where the fighting has already started or is about to start would not need as much room as one where you have to find the enemy first.
    For sure - if you want there to be manoeuvre between forces or recon to find the enemy then yes extend a way.
  20. Like
    ncc1701e reacted to Bulletpoint in Map size relationship with OOB size   
    I'd say extend the map. Even in WW2, I think that map would be too small for 2x180 men.
    There's no general guideline, but when playing H2H, I tend to choose "tiny" forces on a "medium" map size.
    It also depends on how much dense terrain there is, and if there are vehicles or just infantry etc. But in general, I think it's best to have the map be a little too big than a little too small.
  21. Like
    ncc1701e reacted to Lethaface in Tal Malah   
    My pleasure, proost! 🍻
    With regards to the troop experience: I actually enjoyed the fierce battle due to the quality troops. My troops were mostly around crack level, about which I don't know if that's fully realistic, I do enjoy their resilience. Decent AI troops are required to put up a fight against the players forces.
    BTW; Yes I know Syrian troops have a plenty experience over the last years, but I don't know about training and how good they are at retaining experienced soldiers. How do they compare to Spetznatz, for example? 😉
    Anyway I think the scenario was quite well balanced and the quality troops provided some intense fighting, so I don't complain! Was just interested in the rationale behind it.
    I will add some screenshots, including Abu Aurelius, to show the points talked about (atgm pos & inf attack). 

  22. Like
    ncc1701e reacted to Lethaface in Tal Malah   
    Screens looking good!
    And for sure interested in the campaign!

    Last night I finished the Al Hamamiyat scenario with an enemy surrender.
    After I scouted towards the hill, a tough battle for the outskirts ensued. After preparatory strikes I moved up the Tiger infantry while taking positions on the hill. With all guns in support and the plenty of mortar/arty rounds I was able to smash the enemy defenses, although  I didn't have much time left. My tanks were quite low on HE rounds too.
    My losses were minimal, half a dozen casualties and 1 bmp lost. Had some luck though, with the ATGM and arty. Probably another 10+ yellow base on my infantry. Took precautions after the preparatory enemy shelling at turn 1, and was expecting ATGMs.  Firefights were intense, AI defense tight. Fell back a couple of times due to enemy mortars. Noticed most troops of veteran and above quality. Enemy defenses seemed stubborn and fanatic, nobody ran or surrendered even under extreme fires.
    The AI did mount an infantry offensive, but it just walked into my direct & indirect HE, topped of with MG fires. That's were I discovered an US m240 MG team and some Dutch infantry team. The AI offense was blunted and from there I moved slowly forwards. With 40 minutes left I just barely held the outskirts, so I worried a bit for time but after effective resistance was broken I could push easily towards the town objective upon which the AI surrendered @25min left. 
    One thing I noticed after the battle is the TOW team and a AT-3 sagger were not in position to strike. It might be because I shelled the AT-4C team that uncovered itself, but I'm quite sure neither the TOW or AT-3 was able to get any shots off during the scenario. 
    Another thing I noticed was the AI infantry attack towards the West Side; they sort of crawled towards me in the open, although that too might be because of shelling. I don't know the intention, but it seemed to me that had they chosen position in/around the outskirts, the strike force would been much more of a challenge. 
    Although I still had 25 min left, I would probably be pretty short on time to methodically swipe the town towards east side. I think a little bit of extra time wouldn't hurt, especially if you up the challenge. On the other hand I probably could have been quicker, so it's not really short I think. Munition wise I didn't really have a problem (I used supply trucks for PKM rounds bug and some RPG rounds), only my tanks had low HE. I still had plenty of mortar/arty rounds left and I fired of a lot of rounds. the 5min call time on the 120mm mortars (3min with TRP) is great for supporting the infantry. Preparatory strikes with the 122mm and the hind. 
    Ok, I just played a football match followed with 3rd half (beers), sorry if my AAR is a bit chaotic. lol. I will add some screens.
    Thanks for the nice scenario!

  23. Like
    ncc1701e reacted to Liveload in Tal Malah   
    Thanks guys! I really appreciate the support. 🙂
    I've learned a lot since I laid the first tile down on Tal Malah. All of my maps are going to reflect this in the campaign, and stand alone once the campaign is done. Here's an in-progress shot from the west side of Kafr Nabudah in the meantime:

  24. Like
    ncc1701e reacted to Lethaface in Tal Malah   

    I just did a quick playthrough of the Tal Malah battle, as a sunday casual. Didn't give too many orders, just spread out the troops and hide them with short cover arcs. When the enemy came close (<200m), unhide and fire at will.
    Nice battle! A lot of mayhem. My forces held out, although I've taken quite some casualties. Mainly from enemy tank direct fires. The T-90 mopped them up though. Could have probably reduced casualties by moving my infantry out of LOS from the tanks. But I was having fun just ordering the T-90 and a couple BMPs around and watch the havoc unfold.
    Enemy surrender at 27min left. 
    The AI attack was quite nice, if their artillery smoke could be more towards the front it could have been perfect.

  25. Like
    ncc1701e reacted to Liveload in Tal Malah   
    Great info! Thanks for that. When I made that scenario, I tried to get those zushkas to be more effective. This is just what I was looking for. I'm trying it out now. FWIW, Tal Malah was my very first published scenario, so I have been revisiting it as time allows. It will tie in with Qalaat Al Madiq in the campaign.
    Edit: I just checked the AI plan on that group. It is set to area fire into the town, just not the movement part. That will help them a lot I think. Thanks
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