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Tanks crossing Train Tracks

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Posted (edited)

So, how about driving along the track?

In CM, that also takes place at a snail's pace, whereas my uneducated guess would be that as long as the tank kept its tracks between the rails, it should be fine?

 

 

Edited by Bulletpoint

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4 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

So, how about driving along the track?

In CM, that also takes place at a snail's pace, whereas my uneducated guess would be that as long as the tank kept its tracks between the rails, it should be fine?

I know in CM driving along railroad tracks causes damage to vehicle wheels and vehicle tracks.  For this reason I always try to cross tracks perpendicular to minimize the time on the tracks.  The perpendicular crossing probably has a cumulative damage effect.  However, I don't remember ever having a problem with limited perpendicular crossings so this tactic seems to work fairly well.   

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Posted (edited)

In the PBEM in question in this thread both US and German tanks decided to find a better way to cross the tracks when ordered to cross them perpendicularly. The Panther (on "Hunt") ended up driving into some ditch instead where it got bogged

Edited by Kozlice

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Luckily for me, I've never encountered this kind of problem, and I've played quite a lot of battles where the railway stretches across the entire map.It would be nice to see a screenshot or two.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/30/2018 at 3:35 PM, rocketman said:

You will see that with both tanks and infantry re terrain, that they choose "the path of least resistance" rather than your waypoints, often with disasterous effects. The only way I know of how to deal with it is to plot many short waypoints rather than one long path. Same goes for crossing hedges, fences and walls.

This would be my first guess.  When crossing a wall, train tracks , bridges etc. I always place one waypoint directly in front of the feature being crossed and one directly behind it.  In general the more spread out the waypoints the more autonomy the AI has in choosing the route in between the waypoints.  Unlike infantry vehicles don't Pause at every waypoint so its not going to slow a vehicle down to give it more waypoints.  If in doubt, especially in a competitive PBEM, give the vehicle more waypoints in general and specifically give more waypoints when crossing a feature or driving through woods.   

Having said all that I don't know how the waypoints were placed so the waypoint placement may or may not have played a role.  Its just my first guess :)

 

On 6/6/2018 at 10:12 PM, ASL Veteran said:

In game the tracks should just slow movement down with a small chance of bog as I recall.  It does sound odd or out of the ordinary though.  Perhaps there is some odd or prohibited terrain along the path chosen that is in the vicinity of the proposed crossing point that is affecting the movement path rather than the exact point where the path crosses the tracks and so the tracks might not be causing the path alteration but rather something else nearby might be instead.

This is also a possibility by itself or in combination with the above discussed waypoint placement.    From the screenshots it looks like the tank might have had multiple linear features to cross.  If the final destination, to a single waypoint, was on the other side of multiple features the AI might have decided taking the road to get to that waypoint was a better idea and used the autonomy it was given????  Can't be sure........     

 

3 hours ago, Kozlice said:

In the PBEM in question in this thread both US and German tanks decided to find a better way to cross the tracks when ordered to cross them perpendicularly. The Panther (on "Hunt") ended up driving into some ditch instead where it got bogged

In the screenshots the Panther starts facing west.  It seems it was ordered to pivot 90 degrees to the south and then cross the train tracks and then ..... just stop on the other side or did it have to continue to drive to get to the waypoint?   About how far from the start position in the first screenshot was the first waypoint placed?   If you remember. 

In any case, it is frustrating but if you are able to figure out what caused this you can probably prevent it in the future :).  

EDIT to add:  From the screenshots and previous discussion I assume (I shouldn't do that) that the crew was not under fire, suppressed or panicked etc. 

 

Edited by MOS:96B2P

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8 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

So, how about driving along the track?

In CM, that also takes place at a snail's pace, whereas my uneducated guess would be that as long as the tank kept its tracks between the rails, it should be fine?

 

Well, yes, sort of.  Keeping the tank treads aligned along railway tracks really requires a ground guide in front of the tank to direct the driver; not a snail's pace but certainly slow because the ground guide has to walk backwards in order to watch the tank treads and use hand-signs to signal the driver.  I opine that Battlefront should not implement such a feature.  Ground Guides usually disappear when in the vicinity of enemy fires  . .  :o

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37 minutes ago, MOS:96B2P said:

In the screenshots the Panther starts facing west.  It seems it was ordered to pivot 90 degrees to the south and then cross the train tracks and then ..... just stop on the other side or did it have to continue to drive to get to the waypoint?   About how far from the start position in the first screenshot was the first waypoint placed?   If you remember. 

In any case, it is frustrating but if you are able to figure out what caused this you can probably prevent it in the future :).  

EDIT to add:  From the screenshots and previous discussion I assume (I shouldn't do that) that the crew was not under fire, suppressed or panicked etc. 

 

The waypoint was about 100 meters away to the south, there was no need to use Hunt, my mistake there, but I do not know if that would have changed anything. Also you are correct, the tank was not under fire.

It wouldn't have been such a big deal for me at all had the tank not bogged because of this course change.

 

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1 minute ago, Kozlice said:

The waypoint was about 100 meters away to the south, there was no need to use Hunt, my mistake there, but I do not know if that would have changed anything. Also you are correct, the tank was not under fire.

It wouldn't have been such a big deal for me at all had the tank not bogged because of this course change.

 

I agree.  I don't think Hunt made a difference.  In fact it could have helped if enemy fire had made the tank stop (with no damage) before taking the detour.

There was a thread recently that explained the chance of bogging is increased on the edge of a road.  Sounds like that's what got the tank bogged.  But at least the tank wasn't immobilized.

If I understand correctly it sounds like the 100 meter waypoint placement was the problem.  One hundred meters gives the AI a lot of autonomy to choose how to get to that waypoint.  In the type of terrain in the screenshots the placement of waypoints as described above, I think, would have prevented the detour.   A rule of thumb I use for vehicles: The closer the terrain the closer the waypoints.  For example, in woods (when I think I must send a vehicle into woods) I place the vehicle waypoints as close together as the game will allow me.   On a straight level road with no other traffic I "might" place a waypoint 100 meters down the road. 

Good luck with your PBEM!!!  :)            

 

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I see, I guess you are right, but I can't say I have noticed such behavior on tanks before. I also use more frequent waypoint placement when needed, but this situation did not seem like one; will pay more attention to that next time, thanks!

Also, already done and won, or rather the German armor won it for me

 

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Posted (edited)

Just one waypoint was placed 100 meters to the south ninety degrees from the current position?  I had a completely different image in my head from the initial description rather than what I'm seeing in the pictures.  What it looks like to me is the tank takes the most direct path to get to the road and intends to follow the road the rest of the way before leaving the road to reach the waypoint you placed.  The tank appears to crash through the corner of a hedge and go around the corner of a destroyed building to reach the road which is the path of least resistance.  My guess is that the tank made an attempt to avoid crashing through the hedge and that it was the hedge that caused the tank to travel towards the road initially, but that the tank was unable to avoid the corner of the hedge and plowed through it instead where the tank bogged.  No, I'm pretty confident that it wasn't the train tracks that caused the path alteration, but rather the hedge since vehicles tend to avoid walls, hedges, and fences to greater or lesser degrees depending upon the vehicle.  The tank crossed the tracks just fine.  If the tank was avoiding the tracks then it would have travelled straight west until it reached the road and then turned south, but that's clearly not what happened.  If you placed a waypoint just beyond the hedge followed by another one 100 meters further down then I'm pretty sure the tank would have crashed through the hedge as intended.  Incidentally the tracks are not on a paved surface, although it appears that perhaps it might possibly be gravel.  You can see the terrain difference where the paved road intersects with the tracks.  It is possible to place a pavement or gravel tile beneath both a road and a track tile, but it is impossible to place both a road and track tile in the same action spot.

I just wanted to add that the image I had from the first post was that of a tank driving down a paved road and upon reaching some tracks, rather than crossing the tracks and continuing down the road the tank veered off to parts unknown which would be extremely odd behavior. 

Edited by ASL Veteran
what I thought was being described

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If you mean my first post, sorry for being misleading, I hope it is clear now. I do get it now that placing a waypoint 100 m away gave it freedom to take the more "comfortable" path. It is interesting though how this was done during a Hunt move; I imagine looking for a way around a hedge when you are in a Panther and contact is expected on the way (which it was not, hunt command was my mistake) is not the smartest move. That is why I assumed tracks had something to do with this decision making.

If you are talking about OP's first post, he is describing a different situation from the same PBEM (from US side)

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On 9.6.2018 at 12:12 PM, Bulletpoint said:

So, how about driving along the track?

In CM, that also takes place at a snail's pace, whereas my uneducated guess would be that as long as the tank kept its tracks between the rails, it should be fine?

 

 

Tja, try with your car and find out how easy it is to keep a straight line cantered under your wheels.

That’s why train wheels have grooves, with rims of, say, 20mm on both wheel sides. They keep the wheels cantered on the rails.

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48 minutes ago, StieliAlpha said:

Tja, try with your car and find out how easy it is to keep a straight line cantered under your wheels.

We used to do that as teenagers way, way back when. My buddy’s VW worked best, IIRC, but also tried it with some other vehicles, including my Mustang (once...I didn’t have the dough to repair shocks, coils or leaf springs!).  But you had to go real slow, I think no more than 15 mph (more like 10, probably), you couldn’t touch the steering wheel at all once you got it going, and it could get rough depending on the ties and bed. I really enjoyed being a stupid kid!

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2 hours ago, StieliAlpha said:

Tja, try with your car and find out how easy it is to keep a straight line cantered under your wheels.

That’s why train wheels have grooves, with rims of, say, 20mm on both wheel sides. They keep the wheels cantered on the rails.

The idea was not driving with the wheels or tracks on top of the rails, but between the rails... Never tried that with a car (nor a tank) though...

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3 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

The idea was not driving with the wheels or tracks on top of the rails, but between the rails...

That is the correct idea.  Treads running on top of the rails cannot reduce their ground pressure PSI (pounds per square inch) as designed.  Concentrating PSI on top of each rail reduces tread traction and increases tread fatigue.  Bad things will likely happen and the crews will get very grumpy at any tank commander too dumb to know better.  Repairing tracked vehicle suspension systems is punishing and brutal scutwork.   :(

The tracks should be off the rails while traveling along the rail-beds.  Keep in mind that the treads will produce wear and tear on the railroad 4x4 wooden ties by the way.  :o

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17 hours ago, Badger73 said:

That is the correct idea.  Treads running on top of the rails cannot reduce their ground pressure PSI (pounds per square inch) as designed.  Concentrating PSI on top of each rail reduces tread traction and increases tread fatigue.  Bad things will likely happen and the crews will get very grumpy at any tank commander too dumb to know better.  Repairing tracked vehicle suspension systems is punishing and brutal scutwork.   :(

The tracks should be off the rails while traveling along the rail-beds.  Keep in mind that the treads will produce wear and tear on the railroad 4x4 wooden ties by the way.  :o

I don’t fully agree.

Referring to the OP: Moving along the tracks does not solve the problem of crossing them.

And, on raised rail beds, as used on soft or wet ground, you probably many tanks will have an issue with too little clearance from track to underside of tank.

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48 minutes ago, StieliAlpha said:

I don’t fully agree.

Referring to the OP: Moving along the tracks does not solve the problem of crossing them.

And, on raised rail beds, as used on soft or wet ground, you probably many tanks will have an issue with too little clearance from track to underside of tank.

Tanks should cross railroads very slowly and perpendicular (90 degrees) to the rail bed.  Because rails are typically around 6" (16cm), most tanks certainly have the ability to clear them crosswise as well as travel along aligned with them, albeit very slowly as well.

The original poster complained about the failure of his tanks to traverse over railroad tracks at FAST speed.  The thread mentions several reasons why that's a reasonable outcome.  Other posters digressed into the topic of tank travel along railroad tracks.  I think the thread addressed many of the realities for that as well.  However, there's always exceptions to general rules.  B)

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5 hours ago, Badger73 said:

However, there's always exceptions to general rules.  B)

Yep!  You know if Casey Jones was driving that tank...…..  Casey Jones you better watch your speed!

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19 hours ago, Badger73 said:

Tanks should cross railroads very slowly and perpendicular (90 degrees) to the rail bed.  Because rails are typically around 6" (16cm), most tanks certainly have the ability to clear them crosswise as well as travel along aligned with them, albeit very slowly as well.

The original poster complained about the failure of his tanks to traverse over railroad tracks at FAST speed.  The thread mentions several reasons why that's a reasonable outcome.  Other posters digressed into the topic of tank travel along railroad tracks.  I think the thread addressed many of the realities for that as well.  However, there's always exceptions to general rules.  B)

With this I fully agree.

Plus: The discussion is becoming too technical anyway. Must be a “carry over” from the usual office discussions. 🤓

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I once knew an old coworker who thought it was a smart idea to enlist before WWII started to get his military service out of the way before the shooting began. It didn't turn out as he had planned. He instead spent 1942-through-1945 jungle fighting in the Pacific. He said he eventually concluded that he wanted to survive to see the war's end. So he hit on a scheme where whenever he heard rumors that his unit was about to be sent out on patrol he'd fire-up the company's sole Stuart light tank for 'maintenance work', take it to a nearby sandy hillside, turn hard right and shed a track as reliable as clockwork. Then it was "Sorry guys, I've got to stay in bivouac and work on repairing the tanks tracks."

The point to my little tale is tanks, when placed in certain situations, are fragile beasts. You're liable to break something if you're not careful. Shed tracks or rubber rims, dented roadwheels, snapped tortion bars,  etc etc.  I recall reading the Porche suspension Elephant had a problem where an entire suspension assembly could get bent out of alignment then it was hopeless. No towing, no replacing track.

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8 hours ago, MikeyD said:

I once knew an old coworker who thought it was a smart idea to enlist before WWII started to get his military service out of the way before the shooting began. It didn't turn out as he had planned. He instead spent 1942-through-1945 jungle fighting in the Pacific. He said he eventually concluded that he wanted to survive to see the war's end. So he hit on a scheme where whenever he heard rumors that his unit was about to be sent out on patrol he'd fire-up the company's sole Stuart light tank for 'maintenance work', take it to a nearby sandy hillside, turn hard right and shed a track as reliable as clockwork. Then it was "Sorry guys, I've got to stay in bivouac and work on repairing the tanks tracks."

The point to my little tale is tanks, when placed in certain situations, are fragile beasts. You're liable to break something if you're not careful.

Or maybe your story actually shows that it's easy to break something if you want to and you know how?

It made me start to wonder how many tanks in WW2 just happened to break down conveniently while going to the front...

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