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VendoViper

How do you get russian infantry squads to actually shoot?

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I have been beating my head against the first mission of Hammers Flank since upgrading to engine 4, and I have just been having the damnedest time getting my infantry to actually engage the enemy. Unless I give a target area order (and even then its pretty dodgy with all these trees if they will ever pull the trigger) or close to within 50m my regular infantry squads just will not open fire.

https://imgur.com/a/zzCAFMl

Here I have had a squad stationary for almost 4 minutes now with this panzershrek team spotted the whole time, and they will only shoot if given a direct order, the enemy team pictured is 79m away and counts as a "Reverse Slope Target." This entire scenario it has felt almost impossible to actually shoot at any of the German positions, like these trenches and engine 4 don't get along. Maybe i'm just jumping at shadows with the engine upgrade, but i've seen other wonky stuff in other titles too, like 3rd story buildings I cant shoot at from a field because the first floor is "Reverse Slope".

But every position I have engaged once I have started taking fire, I typically find I am unable to return it, even with target area orders, and when you combine that with these guys not firing on targets they have spotted without an order, it has been rough going.

Edited by VendoViper

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The reverse slop message is an indication of obstructed visibility to a location. Sometimes the game let's you see something that you cannot shoot at. Which does seem a bit off. It think of it as your men getting glances but nothing long enough to engage. That's just how I internalization it.

In your case there are a lot of trees and under brush too. It is likely that only one soldier has any kind of view. 

Here is what I recommend: have your squad area fire as far forward as possible and use the assault command to move forward and fire at the same time. Try to assault to a location that gives you a proper target order against they enemy. Also make sure your guys are in command and that the HQ is close enough that they will likely stay in command the whole time.

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Basically in the same situation in another title the squad would have opened fire, if you actually give the target order the whole squad opens up, suppresses the panzershrek, loses sight of them, and then does not start shooting again when he stands up. I really recommend anyone coming along not running version 1.0 of Red Thunder to just skip this mission. I remember playing it on release and it was significantly less frustrating. I think the density of trees on the map is really causing strange behavior, but as you can see in my picture and many other times, there is a very very clear line of fire between the two squads. And I know the line of fire is there because the Germans are returning fire with laser accurate mg42s.

I fully appreciate the difference between targeting an AS and a Pixeltruppen, the latter being taller when standing, but it makes the game infuriating when your guys wont return fire on a sound contact, wont return fire upon receiving fire, cannot target the Action Space you know the fire is coming from and then finally continue to not return fire after actually spotting the enemy.

Meanwhile in the same game I had one machine gun team in a tree line on the right flank decide to start opening up on a bunker clear on the left (which if you have played the scenario, the map is quite wide). So just a little salt in the wounds.

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Do they have LOF? Troops won't fire on something they can't hit. What's stopping you from ordering area fire?

Besides, they're nervous, they've taken 50% casualties, they're out of command range and one of them is wounded.

A certain amount of 'sh*t happens' is programmed into this game. It's not a bug, it's modelling human behaviour, with all its randomness and frustration. It makes the game more fun. :)

[edit: Sorry if this came across as rude or abrupt - Monday morning here. Getting ready for work.]

 

Edited by Freyberg
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17 minutes ago, Warts 'n' all said:

@Freyberg Nail well and truly hit on the head.

In the meantime without giving too much away, apply the second word of the campaign title, to your tactics in the first mission. It might help a bit.

I really enjoyed Hammer's flank :)

It taught me to enjoy using Soviet tactics - if the attack fails, throw in another platoon! ...but do it cunningly...

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No, he really doesn't. There is either something very wrong with the TacAI for the Russians, or prepared positions are broken. They do have line of fire, if you give the fire target order they open up just fine. And they wont open fire on their own even if you leave them there turn after turn, I tried.

In the next scenario I am seeing the same behavior with a lot fewer trees, the Germans in foxholes and trenches will not be targeted by the Russian infantry without a direct target enemy order (and remember these are reverse slope targets so I can't give a fire position area). When you give a direct fire target order they start shooting accurately and effectively so they clearly have LOF LOS and are in weapons range.

Meanwhile the Germans have no compunction against shooting at reverse slope targets:

https://imgur.com/a/uiWRElu (pictured some guys on a reverse slope getting murdered by a German machine gun). Notice how I am being fired on from a spotted enemy, no one has returned fire on him, not the marksmen, not the set up machine gun teams, nor the DP teams. I really think it is related to the trenches and foxhole assets.

The question here isn't about morale, or not returning fire while cowering, these are concepts that I understand and the game communicates well. It has always been my understating that the most effective way to eliminate the enemy with small arms in this game is to position your men so that they open fire under their own volition, these Russians seem awful shy about pulling the trigger until they are in the trench with the Germans.

Maybe there is just some strange disconnect here where everything else is supposed to be WISIWYG but you are just supposed to imagine that the foxholes and trenches don't stick 3 feet above the ground?

 

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1 hour ago, VendoViper said:

as you can see in my picture and many other times, there is a very very clear line of fire between the two squads. 

To be fair, in your screenshot, I think you have trees set to "trunks only".  So all the foliage that is actually present does not show in the screenshot. 

If you look at the totality of the circumstances: Reverse slope target, nervous troops, 50% incapacitated casualties, one walking wounded, no C2, the foliage making LOS / LOF difficult, possibly the only troop with LOS is the walking wounded troop, etc. its not unreasonable that the AI might not take a shot. 

The player can still order the fire team (whats left of it) to target the OpFor using one of the Target commands.  But then the OpFor may take cover and the fire team will stop shooting because now they have no confirmed contact.  The use of area fire, in front of the OpFor might work better.  The friendly team can then maybe get and keep the OpFor suppressed.  But it seems the friendly team does not have a lot of ammo to be able to use area fire for very long.  Especially the way that SMG will burn it up (maybe another reason the AI is reluctant to fire?  not sure on that).   

Woodland fighting is often difficult and can be frustrating.  My woodland drills use a lot of area fire when I have the ammo to do so.  When I'm low on ammo I curse more.  Not sure if cursing directly helps the in-game situation but it sometimes makes me feel a little better.  :)

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While I do have trunks only the pictured trees to not have foliage for the first 15 feet or so. Also, its a moot point, the squads can see each other. As you can see in the picture specifically the selected squad has spotted this specific enemy.

Also, notice how all three soldiers in the squad are "Spotting" and not "Cowering" and they are not pinned. Their casualties and C2 should not be relevant, there is a German right there and they see him, and have LOF. And we are talking un-interrupted spotting for minutes without opening fire.

Edited by VendoViper

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I guess I am going to go learn how to use the scenario editor to explore this more, but I also swear it feels like given two squads in an open field one armed with kar98s the other with mosin-nagants, one will start shooting while the other will sit there.

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6 minutes ago, VendoViper said:

Meanwhile the Germans have no compunction against shooting at reverse slope targets:

https://imgur.com/a/uiWRElu (pictured some guys on a reverse slope getting murdered by a German machine gun).

I'm probably just missing it in the screenshot.  I see troops walking along the tracks.  Where do I look for the ones taking casualties? 

 

6 minutes ago, VendoViper said:

While I do have trunks only the pictured trees to not have foliage for the first 15 feet or so. Also, its a moot point, the squads can see each other. As you can see in the picture specifically the selected squad has spotted this specific enemy.

The foliage may have significance if some of the troops in the friendly fire team can't see the OpFor team.  A confirmed contact does not mean every troop in the friendly team spots the OpFor team.  They might but, since you are having problems here, I suspect they don't. 

I'm afraid my first paragraph a few posts above might have irritated you so you did not read the other paragraphs.  Sorry, if that's the case I'm only trying to be helpful. 

Some of the remainder was: if you look at the totality of the circumstances: Reverse slope target, nervous troops, 50% incapacitated casualties, one walking wounded, no C2, the foliage making LOS / LOF difficult, possibly the only troop with LOS is the walking wounded troop, etc. its not unreasonable that the AI might not take a shot.   And also: it seems the friendly team does not have a lot of ammo <Snip>  Especially the way that the SMG will burn it up (maybe another reason the AI is reluctant to fire?  not sure on that).   :)

 

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1 minute ago, VendoViper said:

I guess I am going to go learn how to use the scenario editor to explore this more, but I also swear it feels like given two squads in an open field one armed with kar98s the other with mosin-nagants, one will start shooting while the other will sit there.

This is true.  Some SMG's have a hard coded range limit of 200 meters.  The US Thompson was 160 meters last time I tested.  

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13 hours ago, VendoViper said:

have just been having the damnedest time getting my infantry to actually engage the enemy. Unless I give a target area order (and even then its pretty dodgy with all these trees if they will ever pull the trigger) or close to within 50m my regular infantry squads just will not open fire.

Your issue sounds a lot like the one I posted about recently here:

 

 

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Well the editor clears up that its not just fundamental to foxholes, there must be the combination of foxholes and lower elevation at play here. So at least in a perfectly flat perfectly open field they open fire!

Its hard to see in the screenshot, but there are a stream of bullets coming in, the point was the guys are clearly on a reverse slope, being on the far side of the rail road berm. And its not your statement that irritates me, its these soldiers refusing to open fire on spotted enemies when they have LOS LOF and are in weapons range that is irritating me. When you combine the AI's gunshy nature (and this happens with full strength full morale squads too) and the games refusal to let you area target things like foxholes and trenches with area fire it results in being unable to build a base of fire or gain fire superiority leaving only mortars as the only possible solution.

Bulletpoint, that is exactly the issue I am seeing.

Edited by VendoViper

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3 minutes ago, VendoViper said:

Bulletpoint, that is exactly the issue I am seeing.

It also happens with tanks and other AFVs. I have several saves that show armoured cars just looking at targets they are actively spotting, that are close (2-300m range) and that are not in much cover (a bit of forest). They don't open fire. But I can order them to fire, and then they have no problems engaging.

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Yeah, and this behavior is super problematic in the absence of a grazing fire command. There are just situations where the game where you have to rely on getting enough guys into position to open fire on a spotted enemy to have any hope of actually gaining fire superiority, and if they wont open fire on their own on spotted enemies it super frustrating.

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40 minutes ago, VendoViper said:

Its hard to see in the screenshot, but there are a stream of bullets coming in, the point was the guys are clearly on a reverse slope, being on the far side of the rail road berm.

Okay.  Understood.

40 minutes ago, VendoViper said:

the games refusal to let you area target things like foxholes and trenches with area fire

Generally speaking the game does allow you to area target fortifications etc.  Unless you mean to say;  You often can't area target fortifications on a reverse slope with direct fire.  This would be accurate. 

43 minutes ago, Bulletpoint said:

It also happens with tanks and other AFVs. I have several saves that show armoured cars just looking at targets they are actively spotting, that are close (2-300m range) and that are not in much cover (a bit of forest). They don't open fire. But I can order them to fire, and then they have no problems engaging.

I remember reading that other topic thread and at some point lost track of it.  PM sent.     

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This thread and @Bulletpoint's topic has struck a chord with something I witnessed recently in the Red Thunder scenario 'Getting Ugly'. As is usually my style I explain it best in a vid;

https://youtu.be/IpgBxu8xhkE

To me it seems like there is an issue unless someone is able to offer an alternative plausible explanation. Cheers.

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6 minutes ago, Josey Wales said:

This thread and @Bulletpoint's topic has struck a chord with something I witnessed recently in the Red Thunder scenario 'Getting Ugly'. As is usually my style I explain it best in a vid;

https://youtu.be/IpgBxu8xhkE

To me it seems like there is an issue unless someone is able to offer an alternative plausible explanation. Cheers.

Hi Josey, thanks for participating and making the video. It does look exactly like the situations I have been seeing. I've witnessed it with both infantry, light AFVs and tanks.

But it's not only the Soviets doing it. My cases have been with German units in CMFB.

My personal hunch is that it's some TacAI change that's been introduced in v. 4.1, because I've played for years with previous versions and cannot recall seeing it before 4.1.

Just 20 mins ago I sent some savegames for @MOS:96B2P to take a look at.

 

 

Edited by Bulletpoint

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@Bulletpoint, ok great, then it does look like 'a thing'. The only thing I noticed although I have no idea if it's connected is that the T34 in the original replay went from Ok to Cautious to Nervous due to one of it's other platoon members being destroyed by the Panther. (This didn't happen in the replay where the target command was used because the Panther was destroyed by the T34 before it could take out the other platoon member.)

So one thing to rule out (or in) would be if this something that is seen more often in units that are going through morale state transitions that turn.

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5 minutes ago, Josey Wales said:

@Bulletpoint, ok great, then it does look like 'a thing'. The only thing I noticed although I have no idea if it's connected is that the T34 in the original replay went from Ok to Cautious to Nervous due to one of it's other platoon members being destroyed by the Panther. (This didn't happen in the replay where the target command was used because the Panther was destroyed by the T34 before it could take out the other platoon member.)

So one thing to rule out (or in) would be if this something that is seen more often in units that are going through morale state transitions that turn.

In  my experience, morale states/experience/C2 seemed to have nothing to do with it. I saw it a couple of times when playing scenarios (various morale states) but only recently had loads of examples from a scenario I was building, myself. So I was sure these AFVs were OK.

Edited by Bulletpoint

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12 minutes ago, Josey Wales said:

To me it seems like there is an issue unless someone is able to offer an alternative plausible explanation. Cheers.

You make some great videos my friend!  :)  

I noticed that the leader is -1.  Also down in the bottom left of the screen, in green print, is the status block where it shows what individual crew members are doing.  It shows the T-34 as aiming and then firing.  But it gets hit just before it would have presumably fired.  I wonder if it was just slower than the panther because of the -1 leadership (don't know what the Panther leadership was).  You are actually the Guru at soft factors.  Considering that the T-34 was trying to aim and fire but just wasn't fast enough, would that explain it?  

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