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JonS

The Sheriff of Oosterbeek – A Scenario Design DAR/AAR

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Continue puttering on my first scenario. Have completed a map and purchased units. Drew a schematic of AI plan. Thought map would be the hardest part but find figuring out the AI has many more moving parts. Will likely have to learn that by trial and error. Small wonder scenario's take so much time and effort!

Would like to understand Early Intel better though.

Could someone talk a little bit in detail about scenario INTEL? What does it provide and how does it work in a game? Most scenario's I've played provide No Intel. The current Red Thunder AAR mentions that the Soviets have some. I'd like to understand better how those advantages work in game play. Thank you.

Engine Manual V2.11 p. 74 describes it as a DATA parameter.

Early Intel - can be set to None, Axis Force or Allied Force.

Intel Strength - can be set between No Intel (0%) to Full Intel (100%) and any step between in 10% steps.

p.84 of Jon Sowden's excellent Scenario Dessign AAR mentions,

. . . giving them some intel will also mean the British player also knows where the Germans aren’t, which is probably too much to give away. I don’t want to give the Germans any hints though, because the way Intel works means they’ll be immediately aware of British troops all the way back to the church.

The settings are reasonably self explanatory, and in most cases don’t require a lot of thought as they’re driven by the actual battle, but again it's worth considering the knock-on effects of some of the settings in terms of the overall story being told.

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Continue puttering on my first scenario. Have completed a map and purchased units. Drew a schematic of AI plan. Thought map would be the hardest part but find figuring out the AI has many more moving parts. Will likely have to learn that by trial and error. Small wonder scenario's take so much time and effort!

Would like to understand Early Intel better though.

Could someone talk a little bit in detail about scenario INTEL? What does it provide and how does it work in a game? Most scenario's I've played provide No Intel. The current Red Thunder AAR mentions that the Soviets have some. I'd like to understand better how those advantages work in game play. Thank you.

Engine Manual V2.11 p. 74 describes it as a DATA parameter.

p.84 of Jon Sowden's excellent Scenario Dessign AAR mentions,

From my understanding of INTEL, it gives away location of random selection of enemy units at mission start, equal to value given in INTEL strength. Only playing at Iron Level, I also suspect associated FOW rules are in effect, so I just see generic markers for enemy units though at exact locations, no matter if initially in LOS of any friendly units on map in setup phase.

Since selection of enemy units is random, it could provide intel on some of those that you actually would not allow to be know to the other player, for it maybe gives away location of units, that are key to how the mission is supposed to work, are at vital ambush points and all that.

Reinforcements are excempted from INTEL, thus giving some limited workaround, if just a set selection of enemy units should be used for INTEL. Have these onmap initially, set INTEL to 100% and let all other units come in as reinforcements (yet these are "assumed" to be onmap right from the start). Earliest arrival times is at 5:00 minutes game time, so this should be worked with and considered for mission flow during these first 5 game minutes.

Obviously this is more suited for play vs the AI, as is not using the INTEL feature at all and instead provide info on enemy units by normal means, either through briefing text, marker on Tac map, or landmark text.

Another consideration is if the enemy that is given INTEL to you, is allowed to move within setup zones (if existing). Still the INTEL feature gives exact location of random elements equal to INTEL strength, while providing intel by means of briefing text, landmarks, ect. might become at least "inacurate" or total fake.

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It was since some months I wasn't able to visit and luckily I stumbled upon this excellent thread! ;)

KUDOS Jon and thanks a lot: I still have to read it and will wait to go through it with close attention 'till I will play the Scenario, but for sure it's a brilliant idea and a treasure's trove of useful hints and tips and surely it will be most helpful for my future upgrades and new projects.

Cheers

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And a PDF version is installed with later versions (I think it started with the release of the Market Garden Module). Look for a file called "A Scen Design AAR PDF Book.pdf" in your install directory.

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It's great that folks are still getting use out of this :)

Frankster/Jack/Badger,

if your scenario is near completion I can playtest it, if you like.

Jon

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Maybe some boring winter you could do a "Campaign Design DAR/AAR"? :D

Ah, well, I see you're just in the process of finishing a campaign - perhaps you could do one? ;)

(actually, I think that technically making the campaign script and creating a campaign is fairly easy. Also, because the scenarios are only to be played from one side against the AI, making the individual scenarios for a campaign is relatively easy too. The tricky bits are coming up with a good overarching concept, and carrying that concept through in the narrative of the individual battles. Oh, and maintaining the stamina required to make a bunch of scenarios :) )

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Jon, I know this may be not the proper thread to post this, but I encountered a weird and seemingly unresolvable issue with your scenario: hopefully you can give me a solution.

I'm about 25 minutes into the battle (developing quite fine 'till now) but the under-bridge passage seems to be a deadly trap: while a couple of armor passed under the bridge with no trouble, I've now got a couple stuck on top of it! and cannot find a way to get them back on the road.

Watching the replay both were slowly moving on the road when suddenly they popped up on top of the bridge!

The Armor is stuck there since some turns, while the truck has just popped up in place: it seems they cannot find a passable way down the road again (impassable terrain I fear). Maybe the trouble is coming from the narrow width of the road beneath the railway bridge, but indeed this is a bug I wasn't expecting as a couple of the assault guns had passed quickly the trap and no troubles. I also noticed many of the infantry instead of going under the bridge just crossed the railways.

BTW: are you sure that in 1944 Oesterbeek had double rail lines? It seems odd but possible.

post-14606-141867625818_thumb.jpg

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I just tweaked the map a little, by changing the elevation of just a couple of tiles. I think quite a few people have done the same thing. I then tested that all the vehicles (including reinforcements) could pass through by fast-forwarding through the battle before actually fighting it.

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Jon, I know this may be not the proper thread to post this, but I encountered a weird and seemingly unresolvable issue with your scenario: hopefully you can give me a solution.

I'm about 25 minutes into the battle (developing quite fine 'till now) but the under-bridge passage seems to be a deadly trap: while a couple of armor passed under the bridge with no trouble, I've now got a couple stuck on top of it! and cannot find a way to get them back on the road.

Watching the replay both were slowly moving on the road when suddenly they popped up on top of the bridge!

The Armor is stuck there since some turns, while the truck has just popped up in place: it seems they cannot find a passable way down the road again (impassable terrain I fear). Maybe the trouble is coming from the narrow width of the road beneath the railway bridge, but indeed this is a bug I wasn't expecting as a couple of the assault guns had passed quickly the trap and no troubles. I also noticed many of the infantry instead of going under the bridge just crossed the railways.

BTW: are you sure that in 1944 Oesterbeek had double rail lines? It seems odd but possible.

[ATTACH]2187[/ATTACH]

GTV, try Move/Slow down the RR for a few AS, and then a waypoint off the RR toward the fighting. Worked for me.

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... for a few AS

Hi mjkerner, what do you mean with AS?

With the SPG I've tried since a few turns to move it left and right along the RR and down from the embankment but it seems it's not finding any passage and it stays where it has been stuck by black magic. :eek:

Iirc this may come from a problem due to the diagonal road under the bridge: possibly making a straight segment would not have triggered this bug...

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Never mind: I still have to know what is meant by AS but I went back some turns and replayed the armor and vehicles movement and I believe I've found the sweet spot to make them going through under the bridge and not above it.

The problem I still believe is to have an angled road below the bridges, while a straight segment would have probably resolved the problem: in any case just keeping the left side of the road, exactly where the first Stug was placed at start, seems to work all right.

Interesting battle, nevertheless: I've still a long way to go...

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Sorry General, was busy with NFL games. (Go Pack!)

AS = Action Square.

Also, in Sheriff of Osterbeek (on a subsequent try at it), when I put a movement waypoint way past the bridge up near the first houses in enemy's direction, the vehicles moved right through on the road under the bridge. Still, I agree that the bridge placement is most likely causing the wonkiness.

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Yeah, there's something odd going on with that bridge(s). It's been reported, several times, and had several fixes applied to it.

In the meantime the 'trick' is - as GvT noticed - to not put any waypoints under the bridge. The vehicles should follow the corners of road quite happily if you put one well past the portal (f'rex by that first intersection). A slightly more robust fix you can apply yourself is to simply delete the two rail bridges - they serve no purpose other than aesthetics.

The reason I used the diagonal rail line is because that best fitted the lay of the land.

The reason I used a diagonal road is because that, too, best fitted the lay of the land, and I wanted to block LOS through that portal.

I don't think the diagonal road is fundamentally the problem here, except that it encourages the placement of a waypoint under the bridges, which is the problem.

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From what I've seen none of the Rail Bridges in the Scenario Editor replicate what there is on this road at this particular point. Rather than a free-standing bridge with arches etc. It is a cut, or break in the rail embankment to allow the road through. Maybe in time the scenario editor will give the map makers a tool to create such a feature. In the meantime I admire anyone who can create such good looking maps as we have in the game.

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BTW: are you sure that in 1944 Oesterbeek had double rail lines? It seems odd but possible.

[ATTACH]2187[/ATTACH]

I'm not an expert on Dutch railways. But the stretch in this scenario is the main line that runs from Arnhem all the way down to Maastricht via Nijmegen. Given the size of the rail bridges over the Neder Rijn, Waal and Maas I imagine that it was double tracked all the way.

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Yeah, it was double tracked. I used a copy of the 1944 map issued to 1 A/B Div, and the line is clearly marked on that as double track. As W'n'A notes this was the main rail line from Arnhem down to Nijmegan, and c.f. the size of the rail bridge that carried this line across the river there.

Edit:

* 1:25k maps of Arnhem and the surrounding area

http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/gmdquery.html

(Search terms: 1943 Netherlands. Click on 'Netherlands 1943', then click on the map, then scroll through the groups to Images 25 through 36 of 55. Arnhem is down the bottom right.)

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Yep, surely it was at least a double track railway: while playing this battle and noticing the atmospheric overcast afternoon, and the freedom I had moving around my German slugs and junks; that reminded me how strong was the AA around Holand and how poorly and quickly the Air Offensive was planned for the whole operation.

If the Allied had a complete aerial supremacy of the kind they were able to master over Normandy, with the ability to use Typhoons and Thunderbolt to pigeon shooting any moving thing on the ground, maybe the Red Devils would have enjoyed a far superior support (aerial artillery) and reconnaissance. Just a thought: my 2c anyway.

In the meantime the 'trick' is - as GvT noticed - to not put any waypoints under the bridge. The vehicles should follow the corners of road quite happily if you put one well past the portal (f'rex by that first intersection). A slightly more robust fix you can apply yourself is to simply delete the two rail bridges - they serve no purpose other than aesthetics.

Nope, as I wrote I made four vehicle pass the bridge by placing a waypoint exactly between the two bridges and especially towards the left edge of the road (sense of march) trying to put the vehicle in the spot that was occupied by the Stug at Turn 1 that went on marching without any trouble.

Not only I placed a way point between the bridges, but instead just to be sure I made the vehicles stop there, and after checking they were poised at almost the same-same Stug position I moved them out towards the first intersection: it worked all the time.

On the other hand letting the vehicles moving freely below the bridges with long segments between way points more often than not brought about the pop up effect and you find yourself stuck on the tracks without any passage down.

Instead of repositioning or reworking the spot I would suggest a simpler solution would be to let some passable terrain on the slopes besides the bridges, so that if by magic you get on top of them, you should be able to move them down too.

To jump on another subject: as I said I'll wait to finish the scenario to go on reading the lot, but I'd like to know if Jon has discussed the new features, and especially about the triggers, the Mods inclusion and such....?

That instead of a Campaign would be much more interesting and useful, since as Jon already stated the Campaign is merely a collection of battles and its production I believe can be summarized in one chapter, but dealing with the more complexities you do encounter designing a battle in all its aspects would be IMO requiring wider and deeper analysis and experimentation...

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I'd like to know if Jon has discussed the new features, and especially about the triggers, the Mods inclusion and such....?

No, he hasn't, and he probably won't. He tends not to use the Mods thing, and the triggers is kind-of complex but kind-of-not, too. It really comes down to understanding the intent and flow of your scenario. If you know that, then triggers are a fairly straightforward additional step in AI programming. If you don't understand your own scenario, though, then nothing Jon writes will be able to help.

Simple example:
A) "Bwhahahahha! I'ma put a company of Tigers in muh see-nar-ee-oh! And a company of Panthers! Yeehaw! And some triggers, huh! ... Wait. Why isn't this fun?"

b ) "Right. The attacker will likely advance along this axis, reaching here by about 30 minutes, and the lead elements should be there at about 45 minutes. Therefore I will have the defender's reserve conduct a counter attack around the left flank starting at about the 45 minute mark, but I really want them to catch the attacker's lead elements in the flank. So I'll add an enemy AI trigger along that road, which will give the reserve time to move around and get into position for the counter attack just as the attacker reaches the farmhouse. ... ok, that almost worked, I just need to move the trigger zone back a bit, and add 2 minutes to the timing. ... Yeah, that's the ticket!" Edited by JonS

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I'm still halfway into the battle and find it quite tough, especially since my SPGs are running low on ammo (my fault I presume) and indeed the Red Beret are putting up quite a stiff resistance (surely thanks to Jon very clever planning: good job!).

I'm also half way reading this thread from the start and omitting the relevant Jon's designing parts not to spoil the on-going battle, so bear with me if I may bring up arguments already discussed and buried (like the double railway line issue, sorry).

I've noticed some very high hedgerows that sometime are too difficult for the attackers to clear from the well positioned defenders, so I would like to question particularly emeg if is this a plausible feature of the City landscape, or just a means used to design a valid defensive position?

Regarding Jack Reynolds...

I have seen that blurry photo before

Correct me if I'm wrong, but iirc that frame was printed from a movie shot depicting the marching off of the prisoners (hence the blur) while the one with the seated prisoners is indeed a photograph: I presume there were some signal photographers and cine operators present in Oosterbeek at that same moment in that place.

As for the small battles, in CMx1 there were a couple based on the ECo/506/101 battles that were surely playable and indeed interesting and fun to play: anyway they had two major battles in Holland during MG and both should be worth updated scenarios imo, as is the amazing feat of Captain Winters and his Company on the dike later on the Island in November(?).

Another interesting battle may be the start & break through of the XXX Corps against a Penalty Battalion of German Renegades (and presumably their guardians) supported by AT guns that was positioned on the very first road block across Hell's Highway and was also depicted in the ABTF movie.

And for ABTF: this chocolate is good, it's English. Please take it...

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