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GreenAsJade

Ridiculous reinforcement locations!

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I'm currently playing the second scenario in quick succession where the appearance of the reinforcements is positively lamentable.

Sometimes I put the location of reinforcements down to the fact that some other commander sent them there for me, and I just picked them up. I don't mind "strange" locations, tactically.

But a group of mix forces doesn't just wander up the road in full view of a massive firefight going doo-a-didee dum and unbuttoned to boot, no matter who is commanding them.

"What, oh, gee, I thought that was thunder, but sheesh, look, there's a battle going on here, we better do something".

One of the solid criticisms of one of the ROWIV battles was that the reinforcements arrived in view of the opposition, but that's nothing compared to the arrivals I've just had in StVith and Blenhiem Blunder.

Please please please scenario designers: put the reinforcements somewhere where they can "arrive" sensibly!

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Absolutely. The other thing is reinforcements coming on with infantry standing around tanks miles from the action and turns being wasted loading up. Lorries and other transports seem to be non-existent in some designers minds -- some are good in this respect.

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I hate this as well. It is ultimately unrealistic as it forces unecessary casualties and screws up the points and what not. I was playing a battle last night and this happened twice and really screwed uo my night.

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I have only designed a few scenarios but it is hard to pick the right location for forces and the right mix of forces for reinforcements. If the reinforcements are coming in late in the game you need to estimate where the lines of battle will be at that time - if the reins are too far out of the action (and without transport, as noted above) they are useless, and you certainly don't want reins to instantly be fired upon as they materialize at a critical point.

The problem becomes more acute as the battlefield gets smaller because there is less room for error and also if the reins pop in near an objective flag, because there usually is a lot of action near an objective flag.

All things being equal I like random reinforcements in terms of timing because it causes the commander to work with uncertainty which I think is more realistic. I can't believe that people knew that on turn 5 3 panthers were going to come in on a certain road... but that is just my opinion.

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I have no problem with random reinforcements.

With respect to picking the right location I would beg this: no matter what other factors there are (within reason) please make sure that the reinforcements won't be fired upon at normal weapon effive ranges in the turn that they arrive!

Ideally, they should not even be visible by the enemy in the turn they arrive, but if they are going to be visible, then they should be configured for battle, not standing around out in the open without a care in the world.

If it means that they have to move a little further to get into the battle, then make them come slightly earlier!

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Reinforcements are often a problem. The designer has to guess where the battle will be - or they tend to come in to close or to far away. I often try to place reinforcements inside buildings (built up areas), behind tree screens or depressions or shielded by one of the above - it isn't always successful.

Basicly in a dynamic battle "fire on sight" is going to happen. The only way to prevent it is to put the reinforcements so far back the player goes insane trying to move them up!

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I have never experienced "going insane trying to move them up".

I have often experience aggravation from lamentable placings.

Behind tree screens, depressions, buttoned up, sensible formation - all these things are highly appreciated!

Of course, if a defender is being overrun, then even the best placed reinforcements might end up appearing in line of fire. I don't think anyone could expect otherwise.

However, in the cases that I am lamenting its almost impossible to conceive how the reinforcements would _not_ be in direct line of fire when they appeared! That kind of thing really should be avoided.

GaJ.

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GAJ

Yes I would agree unless the designer intended them to be ambushed.

What is really hard is to bring in reinforcements in a historical scenario-where the terrain is known.

grrrrhhhh.

Basicly until CMx2 comes out and you can write or select parameters for reinforcements you'll have problems.

By parameters I mean the computer will place the reinforcements and if any are in sight of the enemy will move them to a secondary site

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The designer has no control over the formation of reionforcements. About the only thing one can do is to try and break up the groups so that they don't get too jumbled.

Furthermore, as indicated above, one can make every attempt to put them in an area where they are not arriving under fire. This is all easily disturbed by the act of playing the game. Players might well have troops where they are not 'supposed to.'

That said, an honest effort should be made to bring them in behind some sort of full masking cover.

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Originally posted by Carl Puppchen:

I have only designed a few scenarios but it is hard to pick the right location for forces and the right mix of forces for reinforcements.

That's why we playtest. ;)

The problem becomes more acute as the battlefield gets smaller because there is less room for error

One would need to ask then - how realistic (or necessary from a game-designers point of view)) it would be in the first place for a company (small sized battle) to be reinforced during a 30 minute fight...

The whole thing with reinforcements needs to be revisited to be sure in the next CM. Ultimately, the burden lies on the designer to ensure that reinforcements work properly; an alternative to reinforcing say, a company, in a small battle is to simply have part of the force start much further back. Of course, lack of convoy or follow-me rules makes this cumbersome and a pain as well.

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Originally posted by dieseltaylor:

Absolutely. The other thing is reinforcements coming on with infantry standing around tanks miles from the action and turns being wasted loading up. Lorries and other transports seem to be non-existent in some designers minds -- some are good in this respect.

As a designer, I refuse to use trucks, if the scenario is designed for play against the AI. The AI won't unload anything in a truck. So if it can't come in riding on a tank or in a halftrack they walk in my vs the AI scenarios.

Good Hunting.

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Thanks for all the information - I really had not understood the difficulties designers suffered from the game engine design.

Must be incredibly frustrating - I will be more tolerant in future about what I perceive as foolishness in design actually being a forced work around. : )

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If you haven't tried designing a scenario you need to tread lightly. The tools available for designing are very weak. The behavior of the AI is incredibly stupid. Getting the AI to attack where and when you want is like taking a cat for a walk on leash. It is a wonder that so many good scenarios have been developed.

I suggest you make your opinions more valuable by providing constructive criticism and reviews at the Scenario Depot and other sites. Even the scenarios that came on the disk have a place for a review.

I have designed a few battles and ops and it is not easy to get things exactly as you want them. Reviews and AARs (After Action Reports) are highly valuable and greatly appreciated.

If you want to get in on playtesting scenarios under development or have someone take a look at your designs, check out The Proving Grounds site. http://www.the-proving-grounds.com/

Have Fun!

Bannon

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Originally posted by GreenAsJade:

I'm currently playing the second scenario in quick succession where the appearance of the reinforcements is positively lamentable.

Sometimes I put the location of reinforcements down to the fact that some other commander sent them there for me, and I just picked them up. I don't mind "strange" locations, tactically.

But a group of mix forces doesn't just wander up the road in full view of a massive firefight going doo-a-didee dum and unbuttoned to boot, no matter who is commanding them.

"What, oh, gee, I thought that was thunder, but sheesh, look, there's a battle going on here, we better do something".

One of the solid criticisms of one of the ROWIV battles was that the reinforcements arrived in view of the opposition, but that's nothing compared to the arrivals I've just had in StVith and Blenhiem Blunder.

Please please please scenario designers: put the reinforcements somewhere where they can "arrive" sensibly!

I admit CSDT-St.Vith has poor Allied reinforcement positions, which I may fix in the near future by enlarging the map. That said, they are open to fire for the reason that others have pointed out. Yes troops may have liked to come into areas without coming under fire, but it is not always possible. If they were not in an area where they may encounter enemy troops right off then the balance of the scenario may swing in the Allies favor to easly. Also note that the version of the scenairo you play (V1 or V3) will cause different challenges in this situation.

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V3 worked well for me. A lot depends on where the enemy gets to before you get your reinforcements. If the designer makes it so that you can stop the advance of the enemy, maybe the enemy wont be in range at that point in time. If you dont do the job, you will be in double trouble.

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I think one thing thta could be improved quite easily is to actually tell the sides where their reinforcements are coming in if they are road bound.

The player can at least then make efforts to avoid reinforcements being bounced on arrival - or choose not to.

As previously said by ne my worst scenario against a human did not even advise what my reinforcements would be!!!!!!! How can you plan a battle without knowing the balance of your forces?

My I make an observation that in the war I am beginning to suspect that you would count your troops in effectives - not "You have a second batallion SS xxxxxx DIV. coming in 30 minutes"

After all this could be any where from tens of tanks to ten tanks.

It may seem realistic to give the formation name but I believe the rejoinder would always be what is the effective strength. Some designers are very good about this - and to be fair one could even lie slightly to allow for off-board breakdowns and incidents : )

As I have never designed a scenario please forgive me if I have asked for something the engine is not yet capable of.

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Originally posted by junk2drive:

V3 worked well for me. A lot depends on where the enemy gets to before you get your reinforcements. If the designer makes it so that you can stop the advance of the enemy, maybe the enemy wont be in range at that point in time. If you dont do the job, you will be in double trouble.

Actually, both my opponent and I were equally disgruntled with the position of my reinforcements in V3.

That being said, we both enjoyed the scenario, and I don't for a moment want to pick on it in particular. It was just the last one in a string of them that triggered my comments.

I agree that forces may have to come into battle in a way that doesn't suit them ideally, but there are some cases where the commander who sent them there would have been court-martialled afterwards...

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Whatta you boys lookin for,,perfection,,, then you are in the wrong business. War is the most imperfect endevor of humankind. Play it the way it is. Seriously tho, indecsision,wrong info, out of date info, bad maps, fighter bombers, impassable roads and a wrong alternate road selected by back area incompentants was commonplace in any war so, Whatta you boys lookin for.

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Originally posted by dieseltaylor:

I think one thing thta could be improved quite easily is to actually tell the sides where their reinforcements are coming in if they are road bound.

The player can at least then make efforts to avoid reinforcements being bounced on arrival - or choose not to.

As previously said by ne my worst scenario against a human did not even advise what my reinforcements would be!!!!!!! How can you plan a battle without knowing the balance of your forces?

My I make an observation that in the war I am beginning to suspect that you would count your troops in effectives - not "You have a second batallion SS xxxxxx DIV. coming in 30 minutes"

After all this could be any where from tens of tanks to ten tanks.

It may seem realistic to give the formation name but I believe the rejoinder would always be what is the effective strength. Some designers are very good about this - and to be fair one could even lie slightly to allow for off-board breakdowns and incidents : )

As I have never designed a scenario please forgive me if I have asked for something the engine is not yet capable of.

Having been in the military, I can't remember a single time when a Captain was told..."and you are going to get 10 tanks coming down that road in another 8 minutes..." Never happened. They would tell them "3rd Platoon is on the way to support you." And you DIDN'T CARE what 3rd Platoon had because you needed ANYTHING they were bringing!!

In my scenarios I NEVER tell the gamer what he is getting exactly. Tanks break down, air attacks happen, people get lost. There are no guarantees on a battlefield and if they give you an arrival time it will be wrong. I don't use deliberately misleading briefings though. Fuzzy is good enough for me.

Good Hunting.

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Originally posted by poppys:

Whatta you boys lookin for,,perfection,,, then you are in the wrong business. War is the most imperfect endevor of humankind. Play it the way it is. Seriously tho, indecsision,wrong info, out of date info, bad maps, fighter bombers, impassable roads and a wrong alternate road selected by back area incompentants was commonplace in any war so, Whatta you boys lookin for.

Let's be clear: no-one is looking for perfection.

Neither is anyone looking for specific information about where and when reinforcements arrive.

What we are expressing disappointment about is reinforcements appearing in _totally unrealistic_ positions.

Neither tanks nor infantry beam down from the mothership into the middle of a field with LOS on a battle in full swing.

There are always rationalisations ... "holy cow, batman, where did that tank come from", but it is a fact that from the player's point of view this is highly suboptimal.

What's more, some scenarios deal with it better than others. This shows that it _can_ be done well.

All that this thread is is guidance to scenario designers that this stuff matters to us, and we really appreciate it when you put the effort in to avoid those silly looking situations.

GaJ.

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...with the proviso that having them "beam in" is probably a legitimate way to model reinforcements emerging from sewers/tunnels, something I've had in the back of my mind for any Stalingrad scenarios I might crank out.

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Panther Commander

"Having been in the military, I can't remember a single time when a Captain was told..."and you are going to get 10 tanks coming down that road in another 8 minutes..." Never happened. They would tell them "3rd Platoon is on the way to support you." And you DIDN'T CARE what 3rd Platoon had because you needed ANYTHING they were bringing!!

In my scenarios I NEVER tell the gamer what he is getting exactly. Tanks break down, air attacks happen, people get lost. There are no guarantees on a battlefield and if they give you an arrival time it will be wrong. I don't use deliberately misleading briefings though. Fuzzy is good enough for me."

You would have had the advantage of knowing what 3rd Platoon consisted of ............ I agree about approx. timing and I can take fuzzy. : )

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