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Lt Bull

Need odd LOS issue looked at

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17 hours ago, IanL said:

That sure looks like a prefect example of the bug. I have questions:

Do you have a save? A .ema turn file would be good.

What scenario or QB map is this (would like to try to make it happen again)?

Did you start this game using 4.02 version of the game?

Please PM me and we can discuss getting the saved turn.

PS I wrote this upon reading your first post about this and will not finish reading the rest of this thread - apologies if you have already answered any of my questions.

Hi Ian,

Happy to oblige and thanks for looking in to this.  I have the .ema files, the scenario is called "A Nasty Surprise", we are using 4.02.  I will PM you.

Regards

Bull

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I can concur, anecdotally I am still seeing this issue occasionally in multiple titles (though still most frequently and obviously with the bocage of CMBN). As RockinHarry stated: 'many unit "retreats" in fact are self applied "evade" commands' and to me they sometimes occur without much incoming fire or notable decrease in morale.  I've seen it in real time games where if you spot the evade command been auto-generated you can grab the command line and move it's end point back to a more suitable location rather than the auto-generated one.  On a positive note I just tried 18 platoon scenario against the AI (again) and had to chase the last enemy squad from one side of the map to the other as they kept retreating away from my 3 squads who were chasing them and putting constant fire on them! So the TAC AI generated evade  command can work amazingly well sometimes. BTW the last enemy soldier surrendered in the end (I think he go tired of running) :)

 

Edited by weta_nz

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Quote

 I am still seeing this issue occasionally in multiple titles 

yep I am seeing the issue in other titles too, most recently in CMRT

Edited by PIATpunk

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6 hours ago, weta_nz said:

I can concur, anecdotally I am still seeing this issue occasionally in multiple titles (though still most frequently and obviously with the bocage of CMBN). As RockinHarry stated: 'many unit "retreats" in fact are self applied "evade" commands' and to me they sometimes occur without much incoming fire or notable decrease in morale.  I've seen it in real time games where if you spot the evade command been auto-generated you can grab the command line and move it's end point back to a more suitable location rather than the auto-generated one.  On a positive note I just tried 18 platoon scenario against the AI (again) and had to chase the last enemy squad from one side of the map to the other as they kept retreating away from my 3 squads who were chasing them and putting constant fire on them! So the TAC AI generated evade  command can work amazingly well sometimes. BTW the last enemy soldier surrendered in the end (I think he go tired of running) :)

 

agree. The evade command ain´t all bad, both when the TacAI does, or just for player checking perceived threats on individual units (instant command evade, then check waypoint and face, then delete again). Sometimes one can follow the blue face line exactly to an opposing unit (if it has not moved yet), which sometimes turns out beeing bits of a surprise. So what the player thinks is an enemy threat and the TacAI can be two different things. Otherwise would be nice if any possible bugs involved here can be squashed very soon. Beside mentioned move mode and path variables, there might be more things involved worth checking. Like isolation (from friendlies), lack of C2 or just having a doomed minus leader in evading unit. :P

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On 9/18/2019 at 9:30 AM, Lt Bull said:

Back again...

If the "rattled, break cover, run towards enemey" incident I mentioned earlier (in passing) that occured in this PBEM was not a good example of the very same issue others are reporting, then this one that just happened in the same PBEM is a very good example:

https://streamable.com/ils2p

Infantry are located behind a hedge on an slightly elevated ridge (the ground gently sloopes down behind them in to an open field in defilade). They are directly facing the enemy map edge, with the friendly map edge behind them. No movement orders were given. The only orders were to target an enemy infantry unit to the front left.  Halfway through the infantry unit takes fire from the same front left direction. The immediate reaction of some of the men in the unit is to break cover and run directly forward through the hedgeline, toward.  The remianing men initially  stay behind the hedge and cower (probably safer), but eventually get up and run through the hedgeline like the original guys did.  They are just lucky that not even one of them was hit when they broke cover as they were fully exposed (well there is always next turn)

You can see a low stone wall about 15m in front of them but they literaly have to cross open terrain, running through enemy fire to get there. It is not clear if under this situation whether there behaviour was influenced by this "alternate" (more desirable?) nearby cover.

To be honest, there are actually two other cases I could show that have happened in this PBEM that share the same fundamental characteristic: "rattled" infantry in cover breaking cover and inexplicably running towards the enemy map edge (with more disasterous results). 

If the TacAI that kicks in controlling the behaviour of this "rattled" infantry unit is meant to be a "self-preservation" reaction to the enemy fire, perhaps the code is somehow not taking in to consideration the following information: Location, distance and safest route to nearest defilade and/or cover (in this case, defilade about 6 metres behind them, albeit in open terrain ). In the heirachy of possible directions a "rattled"  unit can move to "increase it's survivability", you surely would expect the "default"/all things equal/no-brainer go-to direction to be move in would be "away" from the enemy, or towards friendly lines.  There would need to be some pretty compeling circumstatnces at play if that "safer" direction/route/path led them closer to the enemy.

Maybe the TacAI coding is placing too much emphasis on the percieved cover at "the destination" and not considering the path/route/distance and the danger to the unit in getting there.

Regardless this recent new post-upgrade behaviour we are now seeing with infantry "running towards the enemy" appears to be "a thing" not previosly seen or considered a problem prior.  I hope it gets addressed.

some more little details I noticed in the video. Once the small HE from the AA vehicle hits the team location they go down to cower. For a moment the No2 of the team does some "planning" and then immdeiately starts moving with his rifle AT buddy (No3) toward that wall. Leader and No4 still in cower, likely not quite noticing what´s going on. Since I assume a TacAI initiated "evade" move, the final face command would be of interest. A possibility of the 2 guys bugging out forward might also be gaining an improved position in order to deal with the AA vehicle by means of a  rifle AT grenade in somewhat better cover position.  The team leader beeing a +1 might support that idea, indicating that move was more offensive and less defensive. Regarding face command I oftenly find it worth rereading the manual since face is a bit more complicated than just "look at":

FACE

Infantry - issuing a Face command will cause the soldiers of the unit to re-evaluate
the cover provided by the surrounding terrain in relation to the facing the player
has indicated, and, if better cover is available, to move to that cover. For example,
the unit might move around a wall, or house corner, to face the new direction
while maximizing cover against fire coming from that direction. You can issue a
Face Command to a unit in motion as well. If you do so, then the last waypoint
will be automatically highlighted so the Face Command will apply to that last
waypoint, not the current position. You are also able to manually select a waypoint
(any waypoint, not just the last one) and issue a Face order from there however.

Note: the Face command is “absolute” to the point you
click on the map, not “relative” to the position of
the unit at the time that you click. An example: You
issue a Face command to a moving unit by clicking
on a house in the distance. When the unit reaches its
final waypoint, it will turn to face the house.

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On 9/10/2019 at 7:33 PM, Macisle said:

Most, often, when units on a higher building level panic, they run to the first floor and stay there. Sometimes they move horizontally one or two AS as well while descending. Or, if they exit, they exit out the back or side.  The higher the quality of the unit, the more likely they'll make a good decision.

I doubt higher quality troops make better retreat path choices. Not from what I've seen at least. I think it's a case of "seeing faces in the clouds" where we often notice and remember things that fit with our idea of what we expect to happen, and forget the rest.

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12 minutes ago, Bulletpoint said:

I doubt higher quality troops make better retreat path choices. Not from what I've seen at least. I think it's a case of "seeing faces in the clouds" where we often notice and remember things that fit with our idea of what we expect to happen, and forget the rest.

A better way to have put it would have been "higher quality troops seem to make stupid, suicidal rout choices less often."

I haven't tested things systematically, but I've been spending most of my game time for the last couple of years in an urban environment on the map I'm making for CMRT. It feels like the above is the case. Going forward, in addition to noting game saves that contain examples of suicidal rout, I'll try to keep a log of the unit types. I'm almost always playing as the attacking Soviets using Typical experience and motivation levels as generated by the Editor.

The AI Germans are meant to be SS, so they are veteran +1 high as base, with a peppering of higher stats in each platoon. I seldom see them suicide rout. Usually, they go deeper into the building they are in. I'll try to note it going forward if I see the behavior from them as well.

Edited by Macisle

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In a current WIP mission I played a bit more with the "evade" instant command and made some partly alarming observations (again). As Macisle said, units in upper stories do oftenly seek cover in basement, but if already at the basement the real trouble starts. When using evade command on such units and no matter if they get incoming fire (+ suppression) or not, I oftenly observed a quick move plotted out to the front and sideways up to 50m into completely coverless terrain. There was plenty of cover to the (friendly) rear (other buildings, terrain folds, craters etc) which got neglected entirely. When it came to the TacAI self applied evade command, the unit concerned then took exactly the same insane move plot than the self made test evade (canceled previously, not executed). Again, setting friendly and enemy map edge was of no influence which is known (by feature). So whatever the TacAI´s logic is, it should put a heavy weight on friendly/enemy map edge and same time shorten move part to just 1 or 2 AS away (currently is almost always 3-4 AS or more). As said we´re still speaking of "evade" moving troopers, not panic stricken rabbits.

Another interesting observation I made was a damaged independent building (think No 5 or 6 from houses, 3 story high) providing a mini fortress position. I got that one damaged in 3D editor mode (ALT-SHIFT + Click), so only the basement was left available for unit deployment ingame. It´s that buildings that receive lots of auto generated rubble flavor objects at game start. However, that building made for mentioned mini fortress with units in there no matter what taking losses or suppression, never evaded nor retreated out of it. That with regular troops and normal morale (and +1 leader at best). There´s other terrain between that house and enemy frontline, i.e hedges and some low bocage (enclosing gardens) that might add to the positions defensibility, but got to check on that more. So it seems the rubbled and some damaged (top-down) buildings makes the best cover version of these.

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33 minutes ago, Bulletpoint said:

I doubt higher quality troops make better retreat path choices. Not from what I've seen at least. I think it's a case of "seeing faces in the clouds" where we often notice and remember things that fit with our idea of what we expect to happen, and forget the rest.

I as well think that experience and morale levels do not matter much if at all for the evade pathing issues. It looks rather like a complete detaching the units perception from its environment (terrain, friendly units), just having a focus on a particular enemy unit threat that it wants to get away from in most stupid ways. Since my test setup includes lots of buildings I again noticed buildings are death traps to small arms fire below 300m. I got a sound mod in place that replaces the hardly audible "penetrate wall" sound with a "beep" and I can almost always nail a WIA/KIA pixeltrooper by a wall penetrating rifle or SMG bullet. So no wonder that infantrymen leave buidling positions that readily and disregard these as any usefull cover. Taking cover (hide) doesn´t help either from wall penetrating small arms as I figured before, as is paper thin ceilings within buildings. That independent from building type and sizes.

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2 hours ago, RockinHarry said:

I as well think that experience and morale levels do not matter much if at all for the evade pathing issues. It looks rather like a complete detaching the units perception from its environment (terrain, friendly units), just having a focus on a particular enemy unit threat that it wants to get away from in most stupid ways. Since my test setup includes lots of buildings I again noticed buildings are death traps to small arms fire below 300m. I got a sound mod in place that replaces the hardly audible "penetrate wall" sound with a "beep" and I can almost always nail a WIA/KIA pixeltrooper by a wall penetrating rifle or SMG bullet. So no wonder that infantrymen leave buidling positions that readily and disregard these as any usefull cover. Taking cover (hide) doesn´t help either from wall penetrating small arms as I figured before, as is paper thin ceilings within buildings. That independent from building type and sizes.

There are very few independent buildings on my urban map, other than a ton of the smallest barns and a number of multi-section large churches. Of course, the barns offer little protection and collapse if someone breaks wind. The churches are very strong and protective.

It's been my experience that, other than churches, modular buildings are significantly stronger per AS/level than their independent counterparts. And, when you combine multiple sections of higher and wider modular pieces, you get very strong buildings that take a lot of arty to bring down (and depending on the wall length and module size, a fair amount of HE to knock out a wall). As for small arms protection, modular seems to offer noticeably more as well, but I'd say the bigger difference is in how much HE it takes to damage/destroy the building itself or knock out a wall.

So, I'm basing my comments pretty exclusively on multi-section modular builidings.

To reconfirm, units on higher levels usually drop to the bottom level of the same section as a first reaction to something like small arms, a rifle grenade, a nearby cookoff, PS hit, etc. If they are already there when it happens, they'll generally move horizontally for good or bad. When they do that, they tend to want to move a number of AS away and change buildings. But not always.

It does seem like the defending AI units, who are generally at least highly-motivated veterans, tend to stick in their buildings better. The general pattern with them is to drop from higher levels to the current bottom level when they experience an uncomfortable level of heat. Then, assuming more heat, they will back up an AS or more inside their building if they have room to move. I haven't checked on scenario author mode, though. So, my view of what they are doing isn't complete. It's just what I can gather as the attacker on Iron Mode.

Motivation level may be at least as important as experience level in units not opting for suicide rout. However, I've definitely seen my own +1 guys drop down readily from higher building levels when enemy fire comes in. Can be pretty annoying actually, as often, they could just drop back one AS horizontally in their building. Dropping down to the lowest level as a first reaction tires them and adds more time and exposure to get them back into position. Soviet MG platoons can be a PITA to use as effective overwatch when up against high-quality German troops because sometimes single LMGs will flush a whole Soviet MG platoon from its positions. On the other hand, I've seen the German defenders take extended heavy fire from multiple MGs and not seem much the worse for wear once any suppression wears off. Of course, lots of variables here.

Anyhoo, RockinHarry, I'd extend any tests to include modular constructions. As for the experience/motivation level impact, I'll try to keep an eye out for it going forward to get some data. I haven't had any game time for a few days and may not for a few more.

Edited by Macisle

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4 hours ago, Macisle said:

There are very few independent buildings on my urban map, other than a ton of the smallest barns and a number of multi-section large churches. Of course, the barns offer little protection and collapse if someone breaks wind. The churches are very strong and protective.

It's been my experience that, other than churches, modular buildings are significantly stronger per AS/level than their independent counterparts. And, when you combine multiple sections of higher and wider modular pieces, you get very strong buildings that take a lot of arty to bring down (and depending on the wall length and module size, a fair amount of HE to knock out a wall). As for small arms protection, modular seems to offer noticeably more as well, but I'd say the bigger difference is in how much HE it takes to damage/destroy the building itself or knock out a wall.

So, I'm basing my comments pretty exclusively on multi-section modular builidings.

To reconfirm, units on higher levels usually drop to the bottom level of the same section as a first reaction to something like small arms, a rifle grenade, a nearby cookoff, PS hit, etc. If they are already there when it happens, they'll generally move horizontally for good or bad. When they do that, they tend to want to move a number of AS away and change buildings. But not always.

It does seem like the defending AI units, who are generally at least highly-motivated veterans, tend to stick in their buildings better. The general pattern with them is to drop from higher levels to the current bottom level when they experience an uncomfortable level of heat. Then, assuming more heat, they will back up an AS or more inside their building if they have room to move. I haven't checked on scenario author mode, though. So, my view of what they are doing isn't complete. It's just what I can gather as the attacker on Iron Mode.

Motivation level may be at least as important as experience level in units not opting for suicide rout. However, I've definitely seen my own +1 guys drop down readily from higher building levels when enemy fire comes in. Can be pretty annoying actually, as often, they could just drop back one AS horizontally in their building. Dropping down to the lowest level as a first reaction tires them and adds more time and exposure to get them back into position. Soviet MG platoons can be a PITA to use as effective overwatch when up against high-quality German troops because sometimes single LMGs will flush a whole Soviet MG platoon from its positions. On the other hand, I've seen the German defenders take extended heavy fire from multiple MGs and not seem much the worse for wear once any suppression wears off. Of course, lots of variables here.

Anyhoo, RockinHarry, I'd extend any tests to include modular constructions. As for the experience/motivation level impact, I'll try to keep an eye out for it going forward to get some data. I haven't had any game time for a few days and may not for a few more.

thanks. Pretty much all coincides with my own present and past observations. In fact I did more experimenting with modular buildings and mostly avoided independent ones. For the purpose I´m now giving them some more attention again (mostly houses type and church), also testing a mod that extends the rubbled walls up from 1m above ground more to 2-3m up, which looks way better IMO. Different story. You can as well test modular buildings resilience vs small arms with my sound mod from this posting (dropbox link) here:

I found the "beep" sound playing for each bullet pentrating a buildings wall quite revealing. In this regard the modular buildings aren´t that good for protection than might tend to believe. So no wonder our poor pixeltroopers feel a bit uneasy in buildings, particularly in upper stories where they usually draw more fire from multiple enemies. A viable tactic is to move down a level or two to break enemy LOF and works the better if the base level is also protected with other nearby terrain like ditch locked AS´s (I use rubble heaps for the purpose), low walls, or low bocage. In this regard the TacAI does fine usually. But if the buildings basement level becomes untenable (or little protection) again, the true trouble starts. The mentioned 3 story indep building with rubbled upper level turned out an exception from this and I´m now investigating some more. Too bad I can´t post screenshots ATM. My pic hoster just quit out of service and I´ve to find another good one yet. Considering Imgur maybe. Photobucket is a crapload of annoying ads and pretty much unusable to me. Recommendations welcomed. :)

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6 hours ago, Macisle said:

To reconfirm, units on higher levels usually drop to the bottom level of the same section as a first reaction to something like small arms, a rifle grenade, a nearby cookoff, PS hit, etc. If they are already there when it happens, they'll generally move horizontally for good or bad. When they do that, they tend to want to move a number of AS away and change buildings. But not always.

It does seem like the defending AI units, who are generally at least highly-motivated veterans, tend to stick in their buildings better. The general pattern with them is to drop from higher levels to the current bottom level when they experience an uncomfortable level of heat. Then, assuming more heat, they will back up an AS or more inside their building if they have room to move. I haven't checked on scenario author mode, though. So, my view of what they are doing isn't complete. It's just what I can gather as the attacker on Iron Mode.

1 hour ago, RockinHarry said:

Pretty much all coincides with my own present and past observations.

This pretty much matches my own observations too, from scenarios set on complex urban maps in CM:SF2.

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1 hour ago, RockinHarry said:

My pic hoster just quit out of service and I´ve to find another good one yet. Considering Imgur maybe. Photobucket is a crapload of annoying ads and pretty much unusable to me. Recommendations welcomed. :)

Does the job https://postimages.org

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5 hours ago, RockinHarry said:

 ...Too bad I can´t post screenshots ATM. My pic hoster just quit out of service and I´ve to find another good one yet. Considering Imgur maybe. Photobucket is a crapload of annoying ads and pretty much unusable to me. Recommendations welcomed. :)

You can use the forum attachment system to upload photos as well. That's what I've been doing for awhile now, as flickr did some kind of company merge and access to my account got effed up. The photos I posted for this thread were forum post attachments. Course, don't know how much storage BF has. So far, no probs at my end.

Thanks for the test file link. I'll take a look at it when I free up. Still tied up for a few days. Thanks also for your analysis, RockinHarry. As always, you dig deep and bring back great info. Thanks to the others posting as well.

I think it's a good thing that this came up now. After all, the next CMRT module is Berlin, a dense city map. It would be a good thing for the game if problems get addressed before that hits. Suicide rout aside, things like it being hard for units to stay in upper levels due to rout/evade behavior is something to look at. The human player can do the work to get units back up, but once the AI drops down, it stays there short of a movement order in the AI plan. Something to think about.

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RockinHarry,

Thanks for raising what I am now thinking are very important aspects of the game that might help us understand more about what is happening and why with regards to the "break cover run towards enemy" issue we are seeing (is there a consensus on what we should call this?).

In particular I refer to the EVADE command you are mentioning.  I certainly knew about and use this command (in WEGO orders phase) but never knew what the command name was called.  Thanks for highlighting it.  It's worth repeating what the manual says about it.

On 9/18/2019 at 8:52 PM, RockinHarry said:

"The right button tells the unit to EVADE by abandoning its current Commands, seeking immediate cover and perhaps popping smoke. Although units can Evade on their own initiative, sometimes they try too hard to stick to their Commands and need to be redirected without further delay. Instant Commands work in both Real-Time and We-Go styles of play."

In case folks don't know what I am talking about, it's this button:

evade.thumb.JPG.e662335560be9c964cccea82ac62b6fb.JPG

What I am wondering is whether the game code/algorithm that determines the waypoint of a manually induced EVADE order (either in orders phase of a WEGO game or during a real time game) is the same code/algorithm that determines the waypoint when the TacAI automatically seems to apply this same order to particular "rattled"  units under fire during the replay phase of WEGO or in a real time game.

Having just discovered where to look in the Scenario Editor for the "friendly map edge" setting assignment, an inspection of the setting for the scenario I am playing (A Nasty Surprise) has actually revealed a nasty surprise!  Well, not really nasty, but can a surprise be surprising? Even though the scenario clearly sets up the US forces in a zone along the northern part of the map and the German forces along the southern part of the map forming a natural west-east frontline, the scenario Allied Friendly Direction is actually set as west and the Axis Friendly Direction is set as east!  I am awaiting a response from the scenario designer whom I have PMed to confirm with him.

What makes this surprise finding even more surprising is that based on the testing I had done myself on the map issuing EVADE commands to my US infantry for the purpose of seeing where the waypoint is placed, it definitely appears that the "default" average direction to EVADE towards was to the north-west, and not the west.  I actually was expecting to perhaps find the scenario Allied Friendly Direction set as north-west with the Axis Friendly Direction is set as south-east (hence my double surprise).

FWIW, I have even checked the manual and it does say that the friendly direction setting does "set(s) the direction into which .. units would withdraw to join their lines".

So to update and revisit the commentary and context of the video I posted:  The US infantry unit in the video that seemingly appears to be EVADING in a SW direction "away from the friendly map edge/towards the enemy map edge" technically IS NOT doing that at all based on the scenario settings. 😕 .  Given the scenario settings state the Allied Friendly direction is west, then south-west could still be considered "in a friendly direction" and not towards "enemy lines".

So, perhaps the EVADE example I first reported and in the video is not an example of (or at least not a good example of) the "break cover, run towards enemy lines" issue being reported elsewhere, given the surprising actual scenario settings.

A first point of order when investigating these apparent instances of "running towards enemy lines" EVADE behaviour should be to check (and double check) the Allied/Axis Friendly Direction settings of the scenario/campaign or QB map being played using the Scenario Editor.

Edited by Lt Bull

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27 minutes ago, Lt Bull said:

RockinHarry,

Thanks for raising what I am now thinking are very important aspects of the game that might help us understand more about what is happening and why with regards to the "break cover run towards enemy" issue we are seeing (is there a consensus on what we should call this?).

In particular I refer to the EVADE command you are mentioning.  I certainly knew about and use this command (in WEGO orders phase) but never knew what the command name was called.  Thanks for highlighting it.  It's worth repeating what the manual says about it.

In case folks don't know what I am talking about, it's this button:

evade.thumb.JPG.e662335560be9c964cccea82ac62b6fb.JPG

What I am wondering is whether the game code/algorithm that determines the waypoint of a manually induced EVADE order (either in orders phase of a WEGO game or during a real time game) is the same code/algorithm that determines the waypoint when the TacAI automatically seems to apply this same order to particular "rattled"  units under fire during the replay phase of WEGO or in a real time game.

Having just discovered where to look in the Scenario Editor for the "friendly map edge" setting assignment, an inspection of the setting for the scenario I am playing (A Nasty Surprise) has actually revealed a nasty surprise!  Well, not really nasty, but can a surprise be surprising? Even though the scenario clearly sets up the US forces in a zone along the northern part of the map and the German forces along the southern part of the map forming a natural west-east frontline, the scenario Allied Friendly Direction is actually set as west and the Axis Friendly Direction is set as east!  I am awaiting a response from the scenario designer whom I have PMed to confirm with him.

What makes this surprise finding even more surprising is that based on the testing I had done myself on the map issuing EVADE commands to my US infantry for the purpose of seeing where the waypoint is placed, it definitely appears that the "default" average direction to EVADE towards was to the north-west, and not the west.  I actually was expecting to perhaps find the scenario Allied Friendly Direction set as north-west with the Axis Friendly Direction is set as south-east (hence my double surprise).

FWIW, I have even checked the manual and it does say that the friendly direction setting does "set(s) the direction into which .. units would withdraw to join their lines".

So to update and revisit the commentary and context of the video I posted:  The US infantry unit in the video that seemingly appears to be EVADING in a SW direction "away from the friendly map edge/towards the enemy map edge" technically IS NOT doing that at all based on the scenario settings. 😕 .  Given the scenario settings state the Allied Friendly direction is west, then south-west could still be considered "in a friendly direction" and not towards "enemy lines".

So, perhaps the EVADE example I first reported and in the video is not an example of (or at least not a good example of) the "break cover, run towards enemy lines" issue being reported elsewhere, given the surprising actual scenario settings.

A first point of order when investigating these apparent instances of "running towards enemy lines" EVADE behaviour should be to check (and double check) the Allied/Axis Friendly Direction settings of the scenario/campaign or QB map being played using the Scenario Editor.

Just had it happening again with some german infantry team "evading" out of a building. The interesting part is that it used exactly my test click "evade" from previous turn, that I deleted each time again. This now self applied TacAI "evade" used the same stupid waypoint to the rear into a completely coverless AS. It could´ve used other buildings instead, which were closer and providing viable cover. The "face" command attached to the evade waypoint indicated the concerned unit rather seeks complete interruption of LOS/LOF towards perceived threat (in this case I could nail an enemy Bren gunner about 2-300m away). So the evade command does not really seeks a cover AS, but rather a position that has LOS/LOF blocking terrain between unit and perceived threat. While it does the purpose (intermediate terrain mesh or objects), the same time it exposes the evading unit longer and into LOS/LOF of other yet unspotted enemies while moving and in target AS.

Frequently using evade instant command as tool surely helps on predicting possible disaster for all too exposed friendly units. Haven´t tested all situations but buildings seem to provide some particular nasty problems, as likely is bocage/hedges and walls maybe.

Regarding friendly/enemy map edges I always considered these for fall of incoming offboard Arty only. The GM (V4.0, p 74) just tells of range issues for smaller offboard assets. Whether map edges have an actual impact on evade direction I can´t tell yet. Checking the stock missions as created by the BFC mission designers indicates that there´s likely more behind it. Map edges are almost always set as NW, SW, NE etc. but  never as E - W, N - S. The "diagonal" settings in game appear to be a special case, maybe to help on path finding, whatever. I see some indications for that and as well started to avoid straight E - W and N - S map edge settings. Some clearing up from BFC or their beta testing crew might be required (unless any such info is buried in the forum already).

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15 minutes ago, RockinHarry said:

...Regarding friendly/enemy map edges I always considered these for fall of incoming offboard Arty only. The GM (V4.0, p 74) just tells of range issues for smaller offboard assets. Whether map edges have an actual impact on evade direction I can´t tell yet. Checking the stock missions as created by the BFC mission designers indicates that there´s likely more behind it. Map edges are almost always set as NW, SW, NE etc. but  never as E - W, N - S. The "diagonal" settings in game appear to be a special case, maybe to help on path finding, whatever. I see some indications for that and as well started to avoid straight E - W and N - S map edge settings. Some clearing up from BFC or their beta testing crew might be required (unless any such info is buried in the forum already).

From what I've seen, the friendly map edge setting doesn't seem to impact frequency of suicide rout in my urban map setting. Most of my play has been on a diagonal and I always check to make sure the settings are correct before I start any slice testing.

Also, I've noticed that even when I set the axis and allied map edges and paint setup zones before purchasing and placing units, the units are often initially spawned facing at odds with the map edge settings. My SOP now when setting up for a scenario-type playtest is to manually make sure that all units are facing the right way -- especially ATGs and AFVs. Experience has shown that when the AI moves them to a painted setup zone during battle setup, ATGs and AFVS will often keep their wacky first spawn facing.  So, you can't just set your edges, setup zones, purchase units and expect them to be facing whhere you want/expect. You need to deploy all units during scenario design and make sure they are facing the optimal way before actually saving and running the scenario. Of course, there is the face command, but that can be tricky to use depending on the variables at play and results must be tested as well. What I said above is assuming it's not being used.

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16 hours ago, Wicky said:

Does the job https://postimages.org

Thanks! I´ll check that one out. B)

12 hours ago, Macisle said:

You can use the forum attachment system to upload photos as well. That's what I've been doing for awhile now, as flickr did some kind of company merge and access to my account got effed up. The photos I posted for this thread were forum post attachments. Course, don't know how much storage BF has. So far, no probs at my end.

Thanks for the test file link. I'll take a look at it when I free up. Still tied up for a few days. Thanks also for your analysis, RockinHarry. As always, you dig deep and bring back great info. Thanks to the others posting as well.

I think it's a good thing that this came up now. After all, the next CMRT module is Berlin, a dense city map. It would be a good thing for the game if problems get addressed before that hits. Suicide rout aside, things like it being hard for units to stay in upper levels due to rout/evade behavior is something to look at. The human player can do the work to get units back up, but once the AI drops down, it stays there short of a movement order in the AI plan. Something to think about.

Think my forum attachment space is long filled to the max already. Didn´t found a clear memory function yet. :mellow:

Yes, getting the AIP better prepared for MOUT environments is something I´m toying around right ATM. Considering that buldings (any size modular incl.) aren´t providing really good cover at close ranges (<= 300m), setting up the AIP becomes bits of a challenge. Some important things might be to add more doors (or openings = CTRL + Click wall) toward intended friendly and enemy map edges (or presumed frontline). This to provide more "fast moving" lanes to account for the TacAI "speed before cover" pathing preferences, as well as cover not beeing cover in AS, but rather cover through completely breaking LOS/LOF towards the enemy. Maybe just part of the truth just BFC knows about, but I hope that evade and retreat behaviors get bits of a revision.

Other part of the problem with infantry in buildings is the messy allocation of single pixeltroopers at doors and windows. They always seem to fight more among themselves for a place rather than fighting the enemy. All too often I find big loss of time from movement and exposure, as well as pointless allocation of multiple pixeltroopers at the same window, even if multiple are available. That counts for most of the TacAI in AS deployments anyway. Splitting teams does help sometimes, but it´s not something one can rely on.

Same for small arms building wall penetration capabilities which to me look all too generic, maybe directly taken over unaltered from CMSF. There should be more distinction between wall material (claybrick one layer, two or more layer, built of stone, etc.), as well as thicknesses making much of a difference usually. Mentioned "beep" tone wall penetration sound mod gives a good indication of building cover properties as said.

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9 minutes ago, Macisle said:

From what I've seen, the friendly map edge setting doesn't seem to impact frequency of suicide rout in my urban map setting. Most of my play has been on a diagonal and I always check to make sure the settings are correct before I start any slice testing.

Also, I've noticed that even when I set the axis and allied map edges and paint setup zones before purchasing and placing units, the units are often initially spawned facing at odds with the map edge settings. My SOP now when setting up for a scenario-type playtest is to manually make sure that all units are facing the right way -- especially ATGs and AFVs. Experience has shown that when the AI moves them to a painted setup zone during battle setup, ATGs and AFVS will often keep their wacky first spawn facing.  So, you can't just set your edges, setup zones, purchase units and expect them to be facing whhere you want/expect. You need to deploy all units during scenario design and make sure they are facing the optimal way before actually saving and running the scenario. Of course, there is the face command, but that can be tricky to use depending on the variables at play and results must be tested as well. What I said above is assuming it's not being used.

yes, micro managing initial unit deployments is way to go usually. I never leave it to the game logic, whatever that "logic" is (got to figure it out yet). Setting up multi team infantry squads is quite tricky in particular. The more teams (i.e 3 team US infantry or german paras) the more trouble one can expect for deployment and even more so, movements! I.e for advance or assault moves one would expect the "firing element" to move last, but it looks rather random to me. I also figured that multi team infantry units set to move are better initially deployed with facing rectangular to the presumed enemy frontline. Counts the more for AIP infantry movement schemes as outlined in this post:

 

So sometimes "facing" command serves better when used in rather not so logical ways, also to account for its rather complicated (and maybe buggy) peculiarities.

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33 minutes ago, RockinHarry said:

 

Think my forum attachment space is long filled to the max already. Didn´t found a clear memory function yet. :mellow:

 

ah, just found it. The checkboxes for delete selection are almost invisible in my screen settings. :P Not much that I can delete from the available 1.95 MB though (there´s a number of threads I like attachments preserved).

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32 minutes ago, RockinHarry said:

Thanks! I´ll check that one out. B)

Think my forum attachment space is long filled to the max already. Didn´t found a clear memory function yet. :mellow:

Yes, getting the AIP better prepared for MOUT environments is something I´m toying around right ATM. Considering that buldings (any size modular incl.) aren´t providing really good cover at close ranges (<= 300m), setting up the AIP becomes bits of a challenge. Some important things might be to add more doors (or openings = CTRL + Click wall) toward intended friendly and enemy map edges (or presumed frontline). This to provide more "fast moving" lanes to account for the TacAI "speed before cover" pathing preferences, as well as cover not beeing cover in AS, but rather cover through completely breaking LOS/LOF towards the enemy. Maybe just part of the truth just BFC knows about, but I hope that evade and retreat behaviors get bits of a revision.

Other part of the problem with infantry in buildings is the messy allocation of single pixeltroopers at doors and windows. They always seem to fight more among themselves for a place rather than fighting the enemy. All too often I find big loss of time from movement and exposure, as well as pointless allocation of multiple pixeltroopers at the same window, even if multiple are available. That counts for most of the TacAI in AS deployments anyway. Splitting teams does help sometimes, but it´s not something one can rely on.

Same for small arms building wall penetration capabilities which to me look all too generic, maybe directly taken over unaltered from CMSF. There should be more distinction between wall material (claybrick one layer, two or more layer, built of stone, etc.), as well as thicknesses making much of a difference usually. Mentioned "beep" tone wall penetration sound mod gives a good indication of building cover properties as said.

To me, it really feels like the more elaborate modular constructions I'm doing are offering better general protection in addition to easy acess to out-of-LOS action spots. Lots of close-range action going on. SMG teams don't seem nearly as uber as you might expect.

Yeah, the time it takes infantry to organize itself can be painful. I had a veteran team intended to close assault a tank dick around for about 10 seconds at a building corner around from the tank. Despite the team having a man where he should have seen the tank, the Panther managed to notice them first and turn its turret 45 degrees before they decided who should actually take the corner (not the time for paper-scissors-stone). They were about to throw a grenade when BOOM.

Soviet MG teams in buildings often get into trouble. The time it takes them to deploy makes them vulnerable and if they take fire, they can go into a loop of trying to displace and deploy. They tire themselves out and never get off any shots. Also, pre-move LOS checks may prove to be wrong when the MG actually sets up. I assume they just can't use the window at that angle, but is sucks to find out the hard way. German HMGs being able to drop to LMG mode gives them a nice little edge. I often find German teams being able to fire at my MG teams without them being able to respond. I think that might be realistic in these circumstances, though. So, I just wish the pathfinding was better and the LOS info more user friendly. The actual battle mechanics are probably fine there. My SOP for Soviet MGs is to put close cover arcs on them and try to sneak them into good positions (ones I'm confident they can fire from) and hide until I'm ready for them.

Yes, I'd love for CM to model different wall materials and give the designer some tools there.

Speaking of walls, on my map the larger modular constructions have all inner walls removed where possible. That has lots of benefits. The units are much easier to see for players (wall clutter gone and floor is like a AS grid), the building is weaker vs arty (I think), and the combat actually seems better than with doors. The overall action is the same as with doors, but movement of men is less restricted. I like it a lot.

Another big benefit is when building sections collapse, the remaining sections have missing walls that are much more realistic tactically and visually than a high-rise of doors into the sky. I've had some way cool firefights with those.

Currently, I"m going back and removing inner walls wherever possible on most buildings of any real size.

 

7 minutes ago, RockinHarry said:

yes, micro managing initial unit deployments is way to go usually. I never leave it to the game logic, whatever that "logic" is (got to figure it out yet). Setting up multi team infantry squads is quite tricky in particular. The more teams (i.e 3 team US infantry or german paras) the more trouble one can expect for deployment and even more so, movements! I.e for advance or assault moves one would expect the "firing element" to move last, but it looks rather random to me. I also figured that multi team infantry units set to move are better initially deployed with facing rectangular to the presumed enemy frontline. Counts the more for AIP infantry movement schemes as outlined in this post:

 

So sometimes "facing" command serves better when used in rather not so logical ways, also to account for its rather complicated (and maybe buggy) peculiarities.

 

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29 minutes ago, RockinHarry said:

ah, just found it. The checkboxes for delete selection are almost invisible in my screen settings. :P Not much that I can delete from the available 1.95 MB though (there´s a number of threads I like attachments preserved).

You may be looking at the wrong thing. I always optimize my pics, but I'm sure I've posted a lot more than that since I've started using the feature.

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41 minutes ago, RockinHarry said:

yes, micro managing initial unit deployments is way to go usually. I never leave it to the game logic, whatever that "logic" is (got to figure it out yet). Setting up multi team infantry squads is quite tricky in particular. The more teams (i.e 3 team US infantry or german paras) the more trouble one can expect for deployment and even more so, movements! I.e for advance or assault moves one would expect the "firing element" to move last, but it looks rather random to me. I also figured that multi team infantry units set to move are better initially...

One thing that might be interesting on TacAI placement on my urban map that I noticed:

If I mix infantry, tanks and an ATG in a group, the tanks and ATGs are usually in terrible positions (like, inside the building block, so no LOS to anything important) when I assign them to defend a block (whole block painted for setup order).

However, If I separate the tanks into a separate group and make sure they are in good positions (micro-managed setup), the Engine appears to set up the infantry to support the tanks reasonably well, and sometimes very well.  The ATGs also tend to be in much better positions, despite being part of the infantry group with the whole block painted for setup.

With its infantry setup, the Engine/TacAI offers a mix ranging from head-scratching gaps in defense that a human player would never allow to devilishly clever ambush points that really put the hurt on.  So, say I have a number of blocks to push through, I'll find some juicy spots empty, but run into a little nightmare in others.

Still using the tanks as the bones via direct placement and then having the AI place other units around them via area painting seems to offer some benefits.

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51 minutes ago, RockinHarry said:

Frequently using evade instant command as tool surely helps on predicting possible disaster for all too exposed friendly units. Haven´t tested all situations but buildings seem to provide some particular nasty problems, as likely is bocage/hedges and walls maybe.

FWIW, in my "EVADE testing of random units during orders phase of various turns" in the scenario I am playing (the one where  the friendly directions are apparently 90deg out!) I have noticed that units in a particular building will EVADE in a different direction to the units located around the building. All the units around the building will tend to EVADE NW while the units in the building will instead EVADE SW.  I haven't really tested this thoroughly with other buildings etc, it's just an initial consistent observation.

1 hour ago, RockinHarry said:

Regarding friendly/enemy map edges I always considered these for fall of incoming offboard Arty only. The GM (V4.0, p 74) just tells of range issues for smaller offboard assets.

I am surprised that you considered "friendly map edges" more in terms of potential issues with range and small calibre off-map arty than as a foundation to understand how you would expect units will react when evading/retreating/routing etc, especially in the context of understanding the EVADE mechanics you have been investigating.

1 hour ago, RockinHarry said:

 Whether map edges have an actual impact on evade direction I can´t tell yet. Checking the stock missions as created by the BFC mission designers indicates that there´s likely more behind it. 

I can tell you that when I edited the Allied/Axis Friendly Direction setting in the scenario editor and repeated the EVADE order testing on the units I had put on the map, they definitely did start EVADING in the newly set direction.  Quite easy to test.  Try it out. Was there a reason why you seem to have thought that the Friendly Direction setting may not have had an effect on influencing the EVADE order waypoint?

2 hours ago, RockinHarry said:

Map edges are almost always set as NW, SW, NE etc. but  never as E - W, N - S. The "diagonal" settings in game appear to be a special case, maybe to help on path finding, whatever. I see some indications for that and as well started to avoid straight E - W and N - S map edge settings. Some clearing up from BFC or their beta testing crew might be required (unless any such info is buried in the forum already).

I haven't gone checking a bunch of scenarios myself (yet) but what you are saying certainly is not what I would expect to find (even when I consider all the scenarios I recall playing).  I would expect most scenarios to be designed around forces engaging north-south or east-west rather than diagonally across the rectangular map, and as a consequence the Friendly Directions set as N/S or E/W respectively.

Can you elaborate more on the reasons you have found to avoid scenarios with N/S and E/W map edge settings/confrontations as opposed to the scenarios based on diagonal set friendly directions?  This is most curious.

If a scenario has been set up so the main battle lines and deployments are N/S or E/W, I can only imagine that if the Friendly Directions are instead set at NW/SE or NE/SW then it should be expected that it would be more likely to experience "illogical" EVADE and/or retreat behaviour (liek we are discussing) as units would tend to "retreat" diagonally rather than directly away from the N/S or E/W front line.

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10 hours ago, Macisle said:

One thing that might be interesting on TacAI placement on my urban map that I noticed:

If I mix infantry, tanks and an ATG in a group, the tanks and ATGs are usually in terrible positions (like, inside the building block, so no LOS to anything important) when I assign them to defend a block (whole block painted for setup order).

However, If I separate the tanks into a separate group and make sure they are in good positions (micro-managed setup), the Engine appears to set up the infantry to support the tanks reasonably well, and sometimes very well.  The ATGs also tend to be in much better positions, despite being part of the infantry group with the whole block painted for setup.

With its infantry setup, the Engine/TacAI offers a mix ranging from head-scratching gaps in defense that a human player would never allow to devilishly clever ambush points that really put the hurt on.  So, say I have a number of blocks to push through, I'll find some juicy spots empty, but run into a little nightmare in others.

Still using the tanks as the bones via direct placement and then having the AI place other units around them via area painting seems to offer some benefits.

Think once the next patch got released we should start a dedicated "Mission design and how to set up an AI player " thread sort of. There´s quite a lot of interesting things to share and learn alike.B) 

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