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Skinfaxi

How to use recon vehicles realistically?

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Yesterday I finished my third CM scenario ever and overall I am delighted and very impressed.

But there are also a few things that raise my eyebrows when it comes to realism. One of the strange things I couldn't find a solution for in the scenario:

Is there a way to use recon vehicles in a manner that they do not stop and stupidly engage enemy tanks/guns, but retreat into safety?

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A combination of covered arc and the reverse command may work depending on the terrain. Then hide them for future use after the 1 min turn is done.

 

Kevin,

I am not sure if I understand you correctly. I tried a reverse command preceded by hunt and other commands, with or without cover arc.

The hunt command is the only command that is not unconditional - but the reverse command is never executed if it spots something.

All other commands work unconditionally.

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In WEGO there isn't really a way to get them to retreat immediately upon contact.

You could try some tricks- have the vehicle dash out, pause a few seconds, and reverse to cover. With luck, you might get to see something without getting destroyed. Or you could have the vehicle advance slowly under cover of a forest; vehicles in woods can sometimes avoid being spotted. 

Of course if you have time let the crew park behind cover, dismount and observe on foot. 

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I think the problem here is less about manipulating the orders you can give and more about how recon vehicles actually do recon in real life.

 

It isn't by playing dodge ball against high velocity shells moving at twice the speed of sound.

 

Light armor can scout against enemy infantry because its light armor is proof against enemy small arms fire, and that lets them move about within a few hundred yards of enemy positions without getting killed.  It doesn't let them move about within range and sight of enemy heavy AT weapons because those can readily kill light armor.

 

They might not *want* to kill light armor, however, when doing so will locate them and get them targeted by enemy artillery and mortars, that will kill them before they can do their actual job, which is not hunting light armored cars but defending the whole position against full enemy tanks.  If all the ATGs open up at every bit of light armor that appears, and die doing it, there won't be any AT defense network left when the enemy actually attacks with their actual tanks.

 

Defending *tanks*, on the other hand, can kill light armor and survive replies and move away, rendering any success in locating them moot.  Light armor cannot scout in the presence of defending full tanks.  This isn't a matter of how readily you can play dodge ball.  It is a combined arms relationship.  Defending full tanks trump scouting light armor.

 

Fortunately, you don't actually need light armor to scout for defending tanks in positions that can see the attacker's side of the field. You can just send dismounted infantry and they will see the enemy tanks before the tanks see them.  If this happens, you've discovered both that the enemy has defending tanks and that there is no point in exposing your light armor.  So you don't.

 

You only need to scout closer against a particularly *stealthy* set of enemies, in other words.  Against dismounts, both infantry and hiding guns.  The infantry can't hurt you and the guns value their remaining hidden enough that they probably won't show themselves.  And if they do you don't mind (I mean, the scouts mind lol, but the commander accepts the trade of his scouts for the enemy's ATGs).

 

FWIW...

Edited by JasonC

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In WEGO there isn't really a way to get them to retreat immediately upon contact.

A co,

is there a reason why is that?

I mean other weapons also behave differently and remarkably intelligent according to their special functionality.

Of course if you have time let the crew park behind cover, dismount and observe on foot.

Good idea! A workaround is better than nothing.

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Of course if you have time let the crew park behind cover, dismount and observe on foot. 

 

I've done this successfully in situations where I either knew or suspected that the enemy possessed something capable of killing my light armor. And after all, this is what actual recon units frequently did. It helps a lot if there is some kind of concealing terrain that they can observe from and is reasonably accessible from their parked vehicle. A nice patch of woods on the top of a hill or a rise is ideal but seldom available. Using this tactic, recon by even unarmored vehicles is not only possible, but neither too hard nor dangerous.

 

Michael

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I usually park the vehicle in a wood line, or on the reverse slop of a hill I am about to crest, or parked behind a structure.  I then walk my Recon crew to get visual on the enemy, the crews are equipped with binoculars.

 

I used to use hunt reverse etc, but they always seemed to get destroyed by unseen ATG, tanks or suppressed by AT Rifles.

 

I use the fast command, or quick, and go from cover to cover.  Hiding the vehicle and using my crew,

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Problem is in most scenarios you have recon assets in use against the enemy's main attack force, against which they're unsuited to fight. This isn't unrealistic or even uncommon, but cautious use of your recon units should be kept in mind. On occasion i've even pulled them all the way back to the setup area for infantry support or mopping up defensive positions I want to bypass but need to clear. 

 

The usual for armored and mounted recon would be to spot threats many kms away, and then report back to HQ. But the scenarios are designed to be challenging, not curb stomps. Recon scenarios have been in all of the games, but their aren't many of them. Which I why I think people get a distorted view about recon units in the game. 

 

One doesn't appreciate the value of armored recon until it's used to deny the enemy his own reconnaissance. I'm still in 1944 world but when the Russians like to conduct recon with BA-64s, guys driving around in cars and (not represented in game) horses then the value of something like a Panzer II Luchs becomes pretty apparent. 

Edited by CaptHawkeye

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Skinfaxi-

Yes, a recon vehicle might get scared and try to back up if it sees an enemy tank, but this reaction isn't too reliable. Sometimes the vehicle moves in a way that endangers it even more, like trying to make slow tight turns, or picking the wrong cover. The AI just isn't that smart. 

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A co,

yes, I had noticed that, too. :( In the other thread where I reported a bug with German recon vehicles I also raised this topic for the developers. I make the suggestion, that the recon vehicle class could have a special option to be enabled: when enabled by the player, that the vehicle would behave differently than it does now and when it recognizes a threat simply drives backwards where it came from.

Edited by Skinfaxi

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That would be useful, but I don't think the game engine currently allows such options to be added.

You might be interested to try the demo version of Tac Ops from Battlefront, which has several options like that which can be set for each unit to determine actions upon contact. It's a very different format for a tactical game but cool nonetheless.

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That would be useful, but I don't think the game engine currently allows such options to be added.

You might be interested to try the demo version of Tac Ops from Battlefront, which has several options like that which can be set for each unit to determine actions upon contact. It's a very different format for a tactical game but cool nonetheless.

 

Indeed. Way back 15 or so years ago when CM design was first being discussed in these pages, I advocated including SOPs because they are so handy and neat. I have on several occasions in the intervening years repeated my advocacy. BFC refused to consider it then and continues to do so to this day. They usually have good reasons for their choices, but I must personally confess that so far I've never gotten clear on what they are in this case.

 

Michael

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That would be useful, but I don't think the game engine currently allows such options to be added.

The ENGINE does not allow that? Are you kidding me? Can you Deploy a tank or only special units? Even infantry units have a unique Attack button and can do special movements, while vehicles do not have this special ability and they also do not react the way infantry does. The whole program is about giving units unique functionality and behaviour.

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The ENGINE does not allow that? Are you kidding me?

Whoa horsey :D

SOPs are not a feature in the game at the moment. They can code the game to do what ever they like. Right now there is no code for SOP or stances.

Can you Deploy a tank or only special units? Even infantry units have a unique Attack button and can do special movements, while vehicles do not have this special ability and they also do not react the way infantry does. The whole program is about giving units unique functionality and behaviour.

Well tanks do not Deploy and deploy is not an SOP or stance. What is this Attack command you speak of?

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I advocated including SOPs because they are so handy and neat.

I agree it would add to the feel of the game - and those SOPs could be part of the AI plans so there is not issue of giving more abilities to the player that the AI cannot take advantage of.

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Which in this case would be some kind of Scouting stance that would favour observing over engaging and would favour reversing for cover it a threat appeared they could not deal with. As opposed to a standard combat stance that would favour engaging over observing and holding ground over withdrawing. And I am sure we could come up with a few more.

In fact perhaps we should - on a new thread maybe since this one is specific to recon vehicles.

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SOPs are not a feature in the game at the moment.

IanL,

is the HUNT command a SOP, too?

Is a covered arc a SOP?

The HIDE command?

The DEPLOY command at the end of a movement path?

 

They can code the game to do what ever they like. Right now there is no code for SOP or stances.

But that's not what I suggested. My suggestion is a very precise ans dedicated behaviour for certain kind of units.

Just like infantry seeks cover by going down, the affected vehicles would no longer commit suicide once they recognize a threat when this function was enabled, but reverse where they came from. Thinking about it, maybe even the HIDE command and button could be used to activate this behaviour?

Vehicle moves + threat = current behaviour.

Vehicle moves + HIDE activated + threat = reverse.

 

Well tanks do not Deploy and deploy is not an SOP or stance.

I used the example of the DEPLOY command to show that certain units have special buttons, functions and behaviours which other units do not have. Normal game behaviour.

What is this Attack command you speak of?

Infantry squads.

This function and the button even vanishes when the size of the unit is beyond a certain threshold - same unit.

The game is full of these things, well it is good, BECAUSE it models units realistically and gives them their own capabilities. My suggestion would fit to existing game mechanics and has nothing to do with SOPs or engine limitations.

Edited by Skinfaxi

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Which in this case would be some kind of Scouting stance that would favour observing over engaging and would favour reversing for cover it a threat appeared they could not deal with. As opposed to a standard combat stance that would favour engaging over observing and holding ground over withdrawing. And I am sure we could come up with a few more.

In fact perhaps we should - on a new thread maybe since this one is specific to recon vehicles.

 

It could just use the AI used by halftracks. They behave pretty much like that. Sometimes it can be frustrating, as I manage to pin down an enemy gun, but the halftrack backs off anyway, causing the suppression to be broken.

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Well the idea behind having SOPs, as it has been discussed before, is as a guide for the AI to decide how it will react (with no orders from us) on its own. All units do that now but we have no influence on it. The idea that has been discussed previously is to allow us some control over how the AI decides what it will do (with no orders from us). Hunt, move etc are orders we gave. When people talk about SOPs the are talking about influencing the AI behaviour without orders.

Any time we get into discussion around making units "work just the way I want them to"tm phrases like "it's easy", or "I'm only talking about this one unit"
or "I'm only talking about this one situation" pop up.  They make total sense in our heads. But the issue is that there are side effects, corner cases and other things to think about.  It is much better to think about what a broadly applicable feature would look like.

 

That's just my opinion.

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