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kinophile

AI Support Targets (red)/(blue)

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I'm sure this has been answered, but searching for this topic just turns up a ton of (interesting) discussions of RL tactics.

I know what this command does - targets for arty - but what are the mechanics/limitations/possibilities?

 

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Did a bit of investigating while working up Mosul but didn't take any notes.....Depending on the intensity selected (& the ammo supply of the battery firing) barrages seem to last between three and a half to five minutes, firing usually starts after 30-45 seconds. 

Batteries committed to opening barrages do not seem to fire again in the course of the game (I'm not saying that they don't, but if they do, I have never noticed it). 

You can identify the nominal spotter for opening barrages in 'Scenario Author Mode', this is usually just one unit regardless of the number of fire missions that are called.

That's about all I have.

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Hmmm.

I've noticed that, about the spotter being identifiable.

Currently, for Red AI., I have 2 Mortar Batteries OffMAP, available at start, then 2 x 122s available 5 & 10 mins later.

However, everything fires at 00:01.

Gonna test if removing the spotter (ie making him a reinf @ 5 mins) changes anything.....

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11 hours ago, kinophile said:

Yup - nothing fires until the spotter arrives as reinf.

Note - the actual FO matters, NOT their HQ unit.

Now that is interesting.

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11 hours ago, kinophile said:

Currently, for Red AI., I have 2 Mortar Batteries OffMAP, available at start, then 2 x 122s available 5 & 10 mins later.

However, everything fires at 00:01.

Gonna test if removing the spotter (ie making him a reinf @ 5 mins) changes anything.....

I have had off map artillery become available as reinforcements, spaced out during the mission, so the red AI does not expend all their rounds in the early battle.  This worked well and kept the AI artillery active, on and off, during most of the mission.  However, I did not use support target (where you paint the map area) for this. I let the AI use opportunity fire.  The AI used it pretty well.  I also read that the AI will use TRPs.  I suspect TRPs may be more useful than the painted support target mechanism after the initial bombardment.  The AI needs LOS to target areas except for the opening bombardment.   

I also thought I read on the forum that the painted support target was just good for an opening bombardment?  The AI's version of pre-planned fires.   I've looked back through my notes but can't find additional information about this. 

So, in practice, I used the painted support target for the initial bombardment and then let the AI have opportunity fire using off map reinforcement mortars/artillery spaced out to last as long as I thought appropriate. 

@Sgt.Squarehead with all the out of the box thinking you do with scenario design you should probably take notes on it!!! :)        

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Interestingly, I certainly the spotter arrived, the mortar fired a, few mins later (ie Urs as noted automatic call). 

Now, the 122s arrived as reinforced 5mins After the spotter - but did not fire at all. Not once. 

My next test will be to add a 2nd spotter, (timing his reinf arrival w/ the 122s) and see if he activates the 122s. 

While very hacky, thus could turn out to be a way to have arty fire on attacking blues as they occupy an objective. 

Ie:

US inf enter a church, marked as a Red AI trigger. 

Rus Spotter 1 spawns off that trigger

Rus Mortar Battery cycles up, impacts 3-5mins after the trigger /spotter have activated/spawned. 

---

Now, you could easily add some variation to this by not making the Spotters arrival "Exact" in the timing drop down. Maybe set it to within 5 mins. 

Then, you could set a new spotter to arrive for different triggers, giving the impression of reactive Russian arty. 

Of course, we want to avoid a plethora if spotters, so probably need to create an exit box, spawn them right beside it, time  their orders to leave to 5 mins after arrival (to ensure their battery fires) then have them leave. 

Repeat ad nauseam. 

Naturally, thus would only work in a strictly Human v AI map,ie a campaign. 

 

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12 hours ago, kinophile said:

Gonna test if removing the spotter (ie making him a reinf @ 5 mins) changes anything.....

I wonder if something is "off" with the reinforcement time on the artillery?  As I understand it, after the initial bombardment the AI needs both LOS (spotter) and of course the asset to shoot.  If the arty does not arrive until 15 minutes into the mission it should not fire before 15 minutes into the game.  I have a scenario I am working on now  where this works multiple times. 

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4 minutes ago, kinophile said:

Now, you could easily add some variation to this by not making the Spotters arrival "Exact" in the timing drop down. Maybe set it to within 5 mins. 

Then, you could set a new spotter to arrive for different triggers, giving the impression of reactive Russian arty. 

Of course, we want to avoid a plethora if spotters, so probably need to create an exit box, spawn them right beside it, time  their orders to leave to 5 mins after arrival (to ensure their battery fires) then have them leave. 

This is very interesting.  I may try this. 

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17 minutes ago, kinophile said:

My current query, I guess, is what is the decision process for AI arty calls, after the start game barrage 

I think, the first spotter that spots a target and is able to call for fire does so.  If the spotter sees more than one target at the same time I don't know if the AI is able to pick the most appropriate target for the available artillery or not.  That is a good question but not something I have tested.  Or if two AI spotters see two different targets at the same time but only one artillery asset is currently available.  Who gets priority of fire in the AI's army? :lol:   Interesting.    Besides those two above examples, that I don't know the answers to, I think it is basically first to spot and request, first to get a fire mission on the way.     

Maybe somebody else knows......... @Bulletpoint you're always testing stuff.

Edited by MOS:96B2P

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2 hours ago, kinophile said:

Ie:

US inf enter a church, marked as a Red AI trigger. 

Rus Spotter 1 spawns off that trigger

Unfortunately, we can't have reinforcements arrive ("spawn") by trigger. But you might be able to make the trigger move a spotter out of hiding and into a place that will have LOS to the church. He'll then need to actively spot the enemy before he will call any artillery though.

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38 minutes ago, Bulletpoint said:

you might be able to make the trigger move a spotter out of hiding and into a place that will have LOS to the church. 

Yes, this I think would work. 

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19 hours ago, MOS:96B2P said:

@Combatintman do you have any adult guidance you could provide on this topic? :)

Nope - I think my limited knowledge on this topic was covered pretty early on. Bottom line is that AI spotters can be a tricky beast to work exactly as you intend. If you really really really want artillery to fall on a particular area then you have to use TRPs and max up the skill levels of the guns and spotters but even then it is down to the vagaries of the AI.

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23 hours ago, Combatintman said:

Bottom line is that AI spotters can be a tricky beast to work exactly as you intend. If you really really really want artillery to fall on a particular area then you have to use TRPs and max up the skill levels of the guns and spotters but even then it is down to the vagaries of the AI.

Amen to that fella.....I found that to get them to respond at all in CM:A they have to be part of an active AI Group.....If I left them in my default A:1 'Passive-Diehards' group (ie: the guys who I just place on the map and do not give subsequent orders to) they just would not use their tubes, even if fired on!  :o

Switching them to an active AI Group seems to wake them up a bit and they will then use their tubes, if reluctantly.  :rolleyes:

In the earlier CM:SF and also in the later WWII titles & CM:BS they seem to be a lot more aggressive and will use their tubes even when in my passive A:1 group, but moving them around in an active group definitely seems to make them much more likely to use their tubes regardless of the game engine.....I presume this is because the TacAI has them actively acquiring targets for themselves?

IMHO this is probably the way forward:

On ‎12‎/‎02‎/‎2018 at 6:21 PM, Bulletpoint said:

Unfortunately, we can't have reinforcements arrive ("spawn") by trigger. But you might be able to make the trigger move a spotter out of hiding and into a place that will have LOS to the church. He'll then need to actively spot the enemy before he will call any artillery though.

It might be worth trying the spotter team in a separate AI Group, using the single tile painting technique to move them precisely, combined with a Face order at the target you want shelled.....Not sure what posture they should be in, Ambush, Normal or Active should work but they might open up with their small arms.

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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48 minutes ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

If I left them in my default A:1 'Passive-Diehards' group (ie: the guys who I just place on the map and do not give subsequent orders to)

Please consider randomising the setup of the A1 group a bit - it makes missions so much more replayable :)

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Hasn't been an issue to date, but in my experience randomised setup reduces the capabilities of a given force by about 50% (HMG team in the windowless ground floor of a barn etc.), so for certain critical defences it's a silly idea.....These are my A:1 group, that is how I do things, others may do it differently.  :mellow:

PS - If I could manually place units in alternative setups for each AI plan I would do so, but I can't.

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3 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

It might be worth trying the spotter team in a separate AI Group, using the single tile painting technique to move them precisely, combined with a Face order at the target you want shelled.....Not sure what posture they should be in, Ambush, Normal or Active should work but they might open up with their small arms.

I've been experimenting around with this for some scenarios.  I have found it helps to set the supply of a spotter or trigger-man to Severe.  I think the AI is less likely to shoot if they have less ammo.  And if they do decide to shoot they can't shoot for multiple turns.  I just had a trigger-man for an IED open up with his AK but burned through his Severe ammo supply in a one minute turn.  luckily no return fire and he set off the IED a few turns later as planned.  Also with engine 4.0 you can give an AI Target order to a Severe supply spotter (hopefully CMSF2 trigger-man also) and have him burn up his Severe supply in a relatively safe location and then move to his observation post.      

Playing around in the editor is sometimes more fun than playing the game.  I've gotten hooked on it again.  Hopefully it will result in a scenario or two that are good enough to be released. :)

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1 hour ago, MOS:96B2P said:

Playing around in the editor is sometimes more fun than playing the game.  I've gotten hooked on it again.  Hopefully it will result in a scenario or two that are good enough to be released. :)

That's exactly how I work.....I mess around with a lot of ideas, I know very few of them will be of practical use in a scenario, but it's interesting to experiment and you can sometimes discover new ways to implement things, like the random spawning trick to get IEDs inside buildings (that one I have used).  :ph34r:

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48 minutes ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

That's exactly how I work.....I mess around with a lot of ideas, I know very few of them will be of practical use in a scenario, but it's interesting to experiment and you can sometimes discover new ways to implement things, like the random spawning trick to get IEDs inside buildings (that one I have used).  :ph34r:

+1  I remember that one and copied it to my scenario design notes.  Your post also revealed a triggerman can set off  IEDs that are not part of his purchase screen group (IEDs that came with a different triggerman).  I had no idea until I read that post.   I'm still trying to work out the mechanics of the snowballing idea (reuse an AI slot).  Think I understand it in theory. 

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9 minutes ago, MOS:96B2P said:

I'm still trying to work out the mechanics of the snowballing idea (reuse an AI slot).  Think I understand it in theory. 

If you have my Mosul scenario open it in the editor and look at the timings of the orders for the AI Group that the VBIEDs are assigned to and the timings of their reinforcement slots.....Essentially it is just a timing thing, allowing you to add more (or new, in the case of VBIEDs) units to the same AI Group while ensuring the existing units don't freeze for want of fresh orders.

Can't take any credit for this one, I found it on this forum somewhere.  ;)

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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2 minutes ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

If you have my Mosul scenario open it in the editor and look at the timings of the orders for the AI group that the VBIEDs are assigned to and the timings of their reinforcement slots.....Essentially it is just a timing thing, allowing you to add more (or new, in the case of VBIEDs) units to the same AI group while ensuring the existing units don't freeze for want of fresh orders.

That's a good idea. I didn't even think to look in the Mosul scenario.  Also VBIEDs are interesting and reinforcements for other more conventional AI groups.  I was just thinking about the suicide bomber use.   

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