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CHEqTRO

A point about Map Borders and Routing units

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Hello everyone. Now wuth CMFB close to release I have thought some issues about routing units, and maybe, if not in this next release, it could be something to work for 4.0.

The thing is, after playing CM for a while, I have noticed that routed units always try to get the most close to map border as posible, something natural. The problema is, that in a real combat situation they would have still running, but in CM they just cant go more of the space of the map.This "problem" can be seen when you send a tank chasing them, and they just stay in their positions, like waiting for being killed. This can break a bit the inmerssion, so I have thought for two posible solutions.

1st, it will be adding an extra map site, when only routed units can enter and hide.

Pros:

-You will actually see how the units are routing, and the "chasers" can still killing them while they route.

Cons:

-It will be needed a better computer for being able to play big maps with this feature.

-If some units can go to that site, why another unit wouldn´t get there? It can be a way of flanking that you are showing but it is non-functional. Also, why a chaser wouldn´t still following the routed unit.

2sn Adding like an invisible exit zone for only routing units, where they will dissapear and be counted as missing.

Pros:

-No need for a better computer and no "showed-but-no-accesible" zones.

-It can be used for retreating core units in campaigns,

Cons:

-The units will literally disappear in front of a posible chasing unit, a very unrealistic situation.

-Maybe, you could lose a full unit that got in panic state, that in normal situations could have returned to be controlable.

 

So well, these are my thoughts, tell me what do you think about these, or if you think for a better solution.

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I certainly agree that the final disposition of troops that have Broken and are running away is somewhat lacking in CM. On many maps it's not an issue, because they rout beyond any area that their pursuers might actually be interested in and prepared to contest, but when the objectives on a given map are hard against the edge, or in cases where a deep defensive deployment is penetrated faster than they can run away, the "final desperation" of routing troops could do with some attention.

I'd prefer troops that are Broken, uncontrolled and which reach the map edge to disappear, even if that means them vanishing out of the sight picture of their pursuers. "Missing" is an appropriate status for these troops: the pursuer didn't manage to definitively kill them, and they didn't definitively get away.

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I'd prefer troops that are Broken, uncontrolled and which reach the map edge to disappear, even if that means them vanishing out of the sight picture of their pursuers. "Missing" is an appropriate status for these troops: the pursuer didn't manage to definitively kill them, and they didn't definitively get away.

This would be a nice feature to have.  The game has the ability for exit objectives now so maybe this would be a reasonable thing to code.  I would suggest just using one of the four map edges in this manner (the broken unit's friendly map edge).  So something like: If a broken unit came within two action squares of the broken unit's friendly map edge and remained there for three turns in a broken condition the broken unit would disappear (simulating the units retreat off the map) and be listed as MIA on the AAR screen.  

This may also lead to more immersion and realistic game play.  First it would demonstrate another reason for trying to keep units in C2 as much as possible (so they are less likely to become broken and run off the friendly map edge).  Also players may send HQ units to the friendly map edge to intercept and rally broken troops before they become MIA and cost points.

I would agree with this position, troops that manage to make it to the map edge should in some form or fashion disappear and be counted for points for the winning side.

Yes this.  A complication to this might be in a delay / withdraw type scenario where one side has an objective to exit troops off the friendly map edge.  I'm sure this exception to the general rule could be worked out.   

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Yes this.  A complication to this might be in a delay / withdraw type scenario where one side has an objective to exit troops off the friendly map edge.  I'm sure this exception to the general rule could be worked out.   

I think the requirement for the troops to be out of player control (Shaken or Paniced, basically) to disappear would cover the distinction. But I'd even be happy if those troops counted as having withdrawn to the "safety" of positions in the rear, if they're exiting the "Friendly" map edge. That would give an incentive for the enthusiastic pursuit of fleeing enemy, to rack them up as kills rather than letting them get away, and the disadvantage of not having those troops to use any more would be enough penalty for the side that lost 'em.

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I must admit this would be a nice thing to include. It's not a regular occurrence, but there has been a few times I've caught a bunch of enemy infantry against the map edge with my own troops engaging in a turkey shoot.

Perhaps also apply it to neutral map edges if possible? Would help in discouraging players from hugging the edges of a map so they can avoid worrying about flank security.

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Thanks to all for the replies :)

Perhaps also apply it to neutral map edges if possible? Would help in discouraging players from hugging the edges of a map so they can avoid worrying about flank security.

Yep, I was also meaning to all borders (an unite might decide to go either way, instead to friendly border) and in case that this also gets like a way of retreating units in campaings (actual move command, even though that I find this quite difficult) I think that some parts of neutral edges should be usable too

Yes this.  A complication to this might be in a delay / withdraw type scenario where one side has an objective to exit troops off the friendly map edge.  I'm sure this exception to the general rule could be worked out.   

Hmm, maybe, but I think that it wouldnt be the case, because this feature of retreating units will only applied to panic or broken units. If they get in the exit zone, we can asume they have exit and not routed (in real life probably there will be someone coordining the evacuation, and if he sees units routing, he will probably will conduct them for a more organized retreat)

With a bit of luck, maybe the BF Developers see this and think about adding it :D .

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I´ve not yet fully understood the difference of a (TacAI driven) unit using the "evade" command and a general "routing state", if something like that exists in the game. It sometimes appears a unit routing is a continuation of a previously triggered "evade" (...away from last known biggests enemy threat). However...I´d rather vote for something like a rally map point or a routine that drives a routing unit towards its highest echelon onmap HQ, if it exists. The Steel Panthers WAW game uses such a system and it works sufficiently well. Otherwise, if a unit in very bad morale state can´t go anywhere on map to get rallied or in safety, it should "surrender" instead.

Edited by RockinHarry

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Count me all in for the idea. Broken units reaching the map border should dissappear. How to code what general direction they should move to? Maybe not needed - just give the option to mappers to set areas where broken units can retreat.

Possible to do?

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IHowever...I´d rather vote for something like a rally map point or a routine that drives a routing unit towards its highest echelon onmap HQ, if it exists. The Steel Panthers WAW game uses such a system and it works sufficiently well. Otherwise, if a unit in very bad morale state can´t go anywhere on map to get rallied or in safety, it should "surrender" instead.

Not a bad idea, but to be honest I think that a real panic unit, if it doesnt have any nearby commander, will try to get the most far away posible from the enemy,or like you said, surrender if the enemy is too close, so I dont know if a rally point will be realistic in these kind of situation. Nevertheless, maybe for a shaken unit (not broken or panic) will work, because they lost they nerve to still fighting in that position, but they havent still fully demoralized.

Possible to do?

I hope so :)

Edited by CHEqTRO

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I´ve not yet fully understood the difference of a (TacAI driven) unit using the "evade" command and a general "routing state", if something like that exists in the game. It sometimes appears a unit routing is a continuation of a previously triggered "evade" (...away from last known biggests enemy threat). However...I´d rather vote for something like a rally map point or a routine that drives a routing unit towards its highest echelon onmap HQ, if it exists. The Steel Panthers WAW game uses such a system and it works sufficiently well. Otherwise, if a unit in very bad morale state can´t go anywhere on map to get rallied or in safety, it should "surrender" instead.

The game doesn't have a "general routing state". There's a difference between the TacAI deciding to displace (often because of prolonged suppression), perhaps using the Evade function (though I don't know whether that's even an option the TacAI has in its toolbox) and the element entering the "Shaken" or "Panic" state of morale. Broken troops can sometimes be of some utility; IMO, automatic withdrawal from the field of battle (if it were to be implemented) should only apply to troops that are in the Shaken or Panic morale states. Admittedly, Broken troops readily Panic or become Shaken if brought under fire, so if a player were to leave Broken troops too close to the map edge and a stray round gets them frit, he's liable to lose 'em "over the edge".

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It´s definitely the "evade" function, self applied so to say. If tacAI driven units displace, they drop a waypoint and a facing, just like it is when a human player uses the "evade" button. What I meant to say is that I don´t know if such a unit after completing "evade", will take this as a base for further retreating/routing, when morale breaks again. Could mean last facing (from evade) is used for the unit to continue routing, not taking into account a more recent threat. The map edge routing problem remains another case.

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This feels like a conversation from years ago when troops did often take off running and not stop til they were far far away.  I recall for a brief period they used to panic/rout then simply disappeared off the map as deserters, though I can't recall if that was ever in a game or if I'm simply recall old Beta stuff. Currently if things too hairy they're liable to throw up their hands and surrender. Its been a long time since I've seen a routed unit half-a-map away from their original position.

Edited by MikeyD

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Currently if things too hairy they're liable to throw up their hands and surrender. Its been a long time since I've seen a routed unit half-a-map away from their original position.

Hmm I dont think thats the case. Even being true that actually the trops surrender quite often, I have seen units go from one part of the map to the other (Principally tank crew members after losing the tank, although I have seen it also with normal infantry units even in normal morale). Also, one of the reasons is that when the objectives are to close to the edges, routing units cannot move further, so they just lie to the groun until they are killed or they surrender, when in a more realistic situation they will keep running.

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Yeah paniced troops tend to go pretty far. Those that are only shaken recover much quicker and so don't get as far. The way things work now never bothered me. I use my broken troops for holding objectives in the rear, fire support from a short distance behind the troops in good condition. Tank crews and the like I just give orders to move to a sheltered are in the rear after they recover. At least when I am playing with a couple of friends where we have a house rule that tank crews must withdraw instead of being used as infantry.

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I've got to say that I've honestly never seen any routed units hanging around a map edge ... ever.  I suppose that it may happen on very small maps I guess?  I just can't see this as an issue on any map that is 1000 x 1000 meters or larger.  Maybe if you play a lot of games on 300 x 300 maps or something I guess.  I just don't see the issue because I've never seen it.  I would like to know about the way these individuals play who experience this terrible map edge problem with routed units.  I have experienced units who sit around in the open after being driven out of cover, but that's because the AI doesn't have any group orders for them.  You see, the Tac AI will only move a squad or team a short distance from an area where they were under fire and were forced out of their position.  However, once the soldiers reach that point the AI can't move them any farther until those troops get fired upon again.  The reason for this is that in order for AI controlled troops to move anywhere they need to be assigned to an AI group and they need to have move commands programmed into the game for them to move.  Absent these group commands the AI controlled troops will remain in place unless driven out by enemy fire.  It would be nice for this to be addressed by giving the scenario designer the opportunity to give fall back orders that can be triggered when a unit is driven from cover, but until something like that is added to the game this 'issue' will persist.  I don't know what the obsession is about the map edges though - I mean seriously.  The issue isn't the map edges.  The issue is that AI controlled troops who are driven out of position by enemy fire have no orders for repositioning to fallback positions and the self preservation orders that the Tac AI gives is too limited to automatically move these troops to a different covered position.  In other words, the AI controlled troops who  have no AI movement orders will simply sit wherever the Tac AI moves them to with the panic move.  That's the issue.  The map edge is just incidental to that and completely misses the point.

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...

The reason for this is that in order for AI controlled troops to move anywhere they need to be assigned to an AI group and they need to have move commands programmed into the game for them to move.  Absent these group commands the AI controlled troops will remain in place unless driven out by enemy fire.  It would be nice for this to be addressed by giving the scenario designer the opportunity to give fall back orders that can be triggered when a unit is driven from cover, but until something like that is added to the game this 'issue' will persist.  ...

Hm...brought me to an idea that I just put into practice with a map zone trigger. A defending AI Plt in defensive position that will only move toward a fallback position, if one its groups members panicks and touches a trigger map zone (friendly all) that is placed in a single row right behind the initial setup position. The orders for that platoon looks something like that:

Group1
setup
Leave after 00:00
and 30:30 (scenario length is 30 minutes)
triggered by "fallback" (map zone/friendly all type)

Order 2
Advance (or quick)
Hide or Cautious
....

So in fact one can get an AI Group to self trigger its own rearward movement, if its initial position gets untenable and one the groups units routs, touching its map zone trigger just to the rear (just one AS behind). A single retreating soldier would suffice for the whole group to initiate its (retrograde) movement order. Interesting....

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With small enough groups you can do that Rockin, although it is also possible to simply place a fallback trigger when an enemy unit advances to a certain point since you can assume that once defenders are driven from cover that the enemy will subsequently advance.  So yes, you can cudgel together something but to do it right it would be better to have a trigger that is dependent upon unit 'state' rather than location.  There was one other guy who was complaining about map edge routers before.  I remember this discussion from before because I thought it was a really odd and quirky thing to complain about and I remember stating the same exact thing to whomever it was who was complaining about it.  Nothing seemed to register since that individual seemingly lacked fully developed comprehension skills.  If you are complaining about enemy troops sitting near the opposite map edge (enemy map edge) and your troops have already occupied the rest of the map the battle is effectively over so who gives a crap about whether the enemy troops are sitting along the edge.

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With small enough groups you can do that Rockin, although it is also possible to simply place a fallback trigger when an enemy unit advances to a certain point since you can assume that once defenders are driven from cover that the enemy will subsequently advance.  So yes, you can cudgel together something but to do it right it would be better to have a trigger that is dependent upon unit 'state' rather than location.  

Yep, small groups would be prerequisite. You don´t want to see a company of troops start retrograde movements, just cause some soldiers of a single routing squad set the trigger. Yet it´s a useable alternative to approaching enemy units touching a trigger zone (with similar considerations on group sizes and all that). Unit state based triggers and branches remains something we can dream of.

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So in fact one can get an AI Group to self trigger its own rearward movement, if its initial position gets untenable and one the groups units routs, touching its map zone trigger just to the rear (just one AS behind). A single retreating soldier would suffice for the whole group to initiate its (retrograde) movement order. Interesting....

It likely won't work, because once troops get so shocked they start to panic and rout, it's likely that most of their friends would be dead and/or under so much fire that they would be pinned and therefore not following their orders to fall back...

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It likely won't work, because once troops get so shocked they start to panic and rout, it's likely that most of their friends would be dead and/or under so much fire that they would be pinned and therefore not following their orders to fall back...

It´s just about basic AI scripting capabilities and if one option works or not, depends on a whole lot of other factors. Using enemy zone triggers might work for one situation, while the self trigger friendly map zone method might work for another one. I just found it interesting that routing units can (self-) activate the particular map zone trigger that they depend on for any their further planned movements. Key is, if none the groups units got morale broken and routed, the trigger and following movement order would never activate (see example above). With regard to the original threads topic, this could be movement toward a rallying place for groups/units, that already took some punishments in the former setup positions. It could also be combined with enemy zone trigger for order2 (organized fallback) and friendly self trigger for battered, broken morale units destined to move to a rallying place in order3 (after getting back from panicked, so that orders can be responded to). A better place to discuss this in more detail would be this thread:

http://community.battlefront.com/topic/121649-scenario-designing-with-ai/

 

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Count me all in for the idea. Broken units reaching the map border should dissappear. How to code what general direction they should move to? Maybe not needed - just give the option to mappers to set areas where broken units can retreat.

Possible to do?

The interesting thing for me is that in CMx1 this is how routing units were disposed of. If they could make it to the friendly map edge with enough time and energy to exit, they did and were counted as survivors. In fighting battles, I would always try to get my own units in the enemy's rear to cut them off and capture/annihilate them before they could exit, which was a very realistic battlefield decision.  I personally find it disturbing that BFC abandoned this practice.

Michael

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The interesting thing for me is that in CMx1 this is how routing units were disposed of. If they could make it to the friendly map edge with enough time and energy to exit, they did and were counted as survivors. In fighting battles, I would always try to get my own units in the enemy's rear to cut them off and capture/annihilate them before they could exit, which was a very realistic battlefield decision.  I personally find it disturbing that BFC abandoned this practice.

Michael

Oh cool! CMBN was my baptism of fire so don't know about how it worked before.

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