Jump to content

Etiquette question: last minute rush on objectives


Recommended Posts

Do you feel it is ok to rush a unit in the last minute of a game on an enemy occupied objective to deny him the victory points?

Does it make a difference if its a QB, campaign or tournament?

I'm undecided and find both pros and cons. That's why I would like to hear your opinion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm reminded of the end to the 1959 film 'Pork Chop Hill' where hordes of Chinese regulars assault the recently taken American position in a last minute 'gamey rush' to deny the Americans the victory during the final minutes of the peace talks at Panmunjom. So it may be gamey, but its not ahistorical. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm reminded of the end to the 1959 film 'Pork Chop Hill' where hordes of Chinese regulars assault the recently taken American position in a last minute 'gamey rush' to deny the Americans the victory during the final minutes of the peace talks at Panmunjom. So it may be gamey, but its not ahistorical. :D

LOL Gamey PRC!!!

Gamey is whatever 2 players agree what it is. Broadsword and I play with no real concern about victory points per se. We play with the perspective of our commanders intent and some calculations about the effectiveness of a unit after it has suffered x amount of losses that conform to the op layer of our campaign. So there is nothing to "rush" in the last minute of the game. Actually most of our games end up with one side or the other conceding once we know we have crossed a particular threshold where the outcome for the op layer is already known.

The other opponents I have played aren't based on an op layer, but game play tends to be similar. The scenario VL are generally the commanders intent. I can't 100% vouch for my opponents, but I don't think they or I really get wrapped up in the VL and points so much as try to enjoy a battle. The VLs define the flow of the battle and commanders intent. After that the objective is simple - destroy the enemy :D

Now some scenarios (Shadow of the Hill 5am for ex) define a secure area as objectives. I don't view it as gamey for my opponent to sneak a unit on there. The whole point is I have to secure the area. Stay behind snipers etc are exactly what I am supposed to make sure aren't around.

For those that are playing competitively (ladders and such) I'd expect a much more stringent definition of conduct.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The all or nothing system isn't really fair to either side. If you have some unit survive in the attic of some building, or slinking around in a forest, it isn't really your fault if your opponent doesn't find him. Rushing a jeep or something in on the last turn seems pretty cheesy though.

Awarding points proportionally would seem like a no-brainer, but this is BFC we are talking about *ba-dum-tish*. For now though, I think the best solution is for scenario designers to avoid giant objective zones, and assign key buildings or hills or other specific locations as objectives. I much prefer maps where there are 5-6 small objectives instead of 2-3 big ones. It allows both sides to be more flexible in their strategy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now some scenarios (Shadow of the Hill 5am for ex) define a secure area as objectives. I don't view it as gamey for my opponent to sneak a unit on there. The whole point is I have to secure the area. Stay behind snipers etc are exactly what I am supposed to make sure aren't around.

*whistles innocently*

Hey! Look! Over there!

*points vaguely into the middle distance*

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it's generally frowned upon, but allowed. Anytime someone can rush forces onto a VL than VL is not very secure.

In my old CMx1 ladder days I won a close game that would likely have otherwise been a draw when my opponent tried that. He actually drove a Panther onto the VL (he had no infantry that could reach it in time). It so happened I had an AT gun keyholed on that VL that I had kept hidden the entire game until the last turn. I kept the VL, destroyed the Panther and captured the escaping crew.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have never had to worry about it yet because they usually have few units left to rush with. Here at camp Vinbo we take pride it high body count ;). Rushing an assault will not work in a game like CM as it would in a gamey RT type game. The last guy I recall who tried to rush in on a objective with his "super panther" got a bazooka round up his ass. There is time for speed, and there is a time for patience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My scenarios you may find more points allocated to kills than to capture objectives. So your 'gamey troop rush' may turn out to be counterproductive if half your men die in the process and give your opponent a kill points windfall.

Quoted for truth. I have tried to punish the human player for taking casualties in almost every mission I've designed. In fact, as long as you are contesting control of those large VP locations, casualties taken is the factor that will likely decide the mission.

Personally, I'd like to see a VP objective that awards points for time occupied rather than an all-or-nothing type score. The 'TOUCH' victory objective is probably a better candidate for modifying in this respect as it is constantly checking if the condition is being met rather than the others that determine control only after the mission has ended.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With my "serious gamer" head on, I think the Occupy victory condition demands that the location be cleared, and if "rushing" one unit onto it is possible, the condition hasn't been met, so it's fine to attempt: if you can't repel a sneaky jeep, your control of the location is partial at best.

That being said, the option of a "proportional" VL, or a time-based one would be excellent additions to the scenario-maker's arsenal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

poesel71,

As a general rule of thumb, I'd call it gamey, but as was pointed out, this really needs to be handled case by case.

Mamayev Kurgan in Stalingrad changed hands repeatedly during whatever kind of fighting lies beyond vicious, and the reason for seizing it was obvious--the dominant terrain in Stalingrad. Clearly, whoever occupied it could apply very real military advantage from superior observation, better fire direction, defiladed CPs and so forth. Here, gamey behavior makes solid military sense.

Likewise, when an area has to be secured, so that, say, a supply route can be opened, then even a small unit can wreck much larger military plans. So, not gamey there, either. The same holds true of a given objective which must be taken by a certain time, else the whole plan goes off the track. Here's an example of a "must succeed" objective. http://xenophongroup.com/mcjoynt/9and10.htm

Where I believe gamey behavior is on full display is when someone knowingly and willfully exploits a systemic issue in order to gain an unfair, unreal and ahistorical advantage. An example of this is attacks right down the map edge. If the "grain" is right and the terrain favorable, these can be devastating. Note use of conditional!

In game terms, though, if BFC programmed in some random fires from the artificially protected flank, this would soon lose its charm. Real world militaries habitually attack into unit boundaries, because of the confusion and dislocation this causes, but such actions seldom (not never) have the luxury of a thoroughly protected flank, as units do in ALL the CM games.

CMBO had a problem with practically unkillable .50 cal. MG armed jeeps, which would rip and run behind the lines, wreaking enormous havoc. I once lost a Hetzer to one--point blank burst into the thin side armor--before a huge outcry reined in that insanity.

Again, there are places where that kind of action made sense then and does now--slicing raids hitting aerodromes, supply depots and the like after coming in from some vast emptiness or "impassable" terrain, but Normandy is NOT Fuka Aerodrome. Did some of that kind of thing happen in the ETO? Yes, but you need to be this guy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popski%27s_Private_Army

BFC instituted a kind of sudden death overtime (when the game clock goes red) to thwart gamey VL rushes, so that helped, but what the game does NOT depict is that infantry on the objective begins digging in and registering fires forthwith, armor to a lesser degree (range cards not modeled), and the longer it's there, the harder and more expensive it is to eject. This is why the Germans had an immediate counterattack doctrine, but it often cost them dearly. Possession IS nine points of the law in war, so for a force supposed to hold a defined position, time in position becomes a key metric, but only in terms of what it's supposed to do while there. If when the smoke and dust clear, you no longer have the high ground overlooking the foe's supply route, otherwise protected approach, key river crossing or what have you, then all you've done is burn men and materiel and still failed.

For me, gamey behavior comes down to a composite of the issues discussed, but ultimately it comes down to the Talmudic version of the Golden Rule: What would offend you if done to you do NOT do to to others! It all comes down to communication, and without it, your reputation as a gamer can be ruined and quickly at that. This is particularly true of tournaments where tempers are running high, competitive fangs are bared and misunderstandings lie in wait, ready to pounce.

I've been eaten alive by expert force optimizers who bought formations and stripped them down in such a way that they had hellish mobility and firepower, multiplying the effects of my own tactical greenness manyfold. Such actions, repeated many times in many games led BFC to scrap its Quick Battle system and institute one both more credible and militarily supportable. I've seen a whole tournament come off the rails, die, then have to be revived under carefully defined new rules. I've had bitter run-ins over what was and was not a gamey force or a gamey use of same or both.

I know this thread is about VL rushes and their appropriateness, but I think the larger issue is more important. If you're the person who will only play with the Germans' nastiest toys or some ridiculous artificial artillery advantage or any other equivalent nonsense, then you are cutting your own gaming throat in the long term. You limit what you can get from the gaming experience, and you limit whom you get to have that rich-sparse experience with. Personally, I'm far more interested in exploring the gamut of tactical possibilities than I am in uberness for its own sake. For me, it's what you do with what you have. "What now, Lieutenant?"

Regards,

John Kettler

Link to comment
Share on other sites

... if you can't repel a sneaky jeep, your control of the location is partial at best.

Hmmm, not necessarily - I've found it can take several turns of concentrated fire from more than one squad to knock out a jeep - those things can soak up a lot of 7.92mm !

Also, due to the "aim at centre mass" thing, the crew can survive unscathed for most of those turns as your men wont shoot at the highly exposed men.

If done at the end of a battle or during the ceasefire period, then it would be gamey. Then again, as many have said, a good scenario with multiple VL's will negate most of the value of this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you don't want the objectives you "hold" rushed, have you considered defending them?

Nothing more needs to be said. That's what hold means. I have been the rusher and on the receiving end of rushes many times. They work when the soldiers defending are not in good shape, don't have the right combination of arms or are not positioned well (by that I include the areas *around* the VL). For a well defended VL these rushes fail.

Bring it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That being said, the option of a "proportional" VL, or a time-based one would be excellent additions to the scenario-maker's arsenal.

Nice idea. Although Steve doesn't want suggestions how things could be implemented mathematically, i think sometimes it's better to show how easy things could be solved mathematically.

As a tool against flag-rushing the random-ending was introduced. But IMO it doesn't solve the problem.

The problem with rushing the flag is, that a player can control the VL perfectly, and a big enemy tank can take his possession away and if the game ends the battle in this moment, the points are lost, although it would be clear, that the tank cannot hold the flag. A random extension cannot prevent cutting action off.

To achieve this, a kind of action measurement would be necessary, that puts not only the action into context, but also puts into context of what has happened (function with memory). Gladly mathematically this is very simple with the CM-Battle-VIX™! ;)

This volatility index simply measures the action at victory locations. If the VIX shows increased action, it means, that the VL has recently been changing possession - lots of action going on! So an ending of the game would heavily distort the natural result. Be it a gamey flag-rusher taking the unjust merits, or a defense that is smelting like snow in the sun is rescued by the timer.

Volatility in general = (oldvalue - newvalue)/newvalue

Let's say, suddenly a VL, let's call it VL1, is occupied by a side, while last turn it wasn't. The change of the possession of this VL would be reflected by the volatility:

vola_VL1 = abs(oldpointsVL1 - newpointsVL1)/maxpointsVL1

oldpointsVL1 = VL1 player's points previous turn (or whenever it was calculated the last time by the engine)

newpointsVL1 = most up to date points

maxpointsVL1 = the maximum points a player can get for controlling VL1

Our example:

vola_VL1 = abs(0 - 100)/100 = 1 = 100%.

Next turn t+1, VL is kept:

vola_VL1 = abs(100-100)/100 = 0 = 0%.

Next turn t+2, if the VL is lost after the next minute again:

vola_VL1 = abs(100-0)/100 = 1 = 100%.

Next turn t+3, the VL is won to 60% again:

vola_VL1 = abs(0-60)/100 = 0,6 = 60%.

You get the point: the vola would measure the current action at this VL.

But it immediately drops to zero, once the VL-status doesn't change. This is not sufficient for the task. A volatility-index must be constructed, that fulfills our needs:

It must take the action of the past into account. The longer the action is back, the less weight it should have on the index's value. This most simple one would already do so:

battle-VIX = (battle-VIX + newvola) / 2

Previous example:

VL1 not occupied:

battle-VIX-VL1 = (0 + 0) / 2 = 0.

t=0 (fully occupied):

vola_VL1 = abs(0 - 100)/100 = 1 = 100%.

Gives:

battle-VIX-VL1 = 50%

(0 + 1)/2 = 0,5.

Next turn t+1, VL is kept:

vola_VL1 = abs(100-100)/100 = 0 = 0%.

battle-VIX-VL1 = 25%

(0,5 + 0)/2 = 0,25.

Next turn t+2, if the VL is lost again after the next minute:

vola_VL1 = abs(100-0)/100 = 1 = 100%.

battle-VIX-VL1 = 62,5%

(0,25 + 1)/2 = 0,625.

Next turn t+3, the VL is won, e.g. to 60% again:

vola_VL1 = abs(0-60)/100 = 0,6 = 60%.

battle-VIX-VL1 = 61,25%

(0,625 + 0,6)/2 = 0,6125.

t+4, the VL1 is completely under control again:

vola_VL1 = abs(60-100)/100 = 0,4 = 40%.

battle-VIX-VL1 = 51%

(0,6125 + 0,4)/2 = 0,50625.

t+5, nothing changes, the player has secured the flag, the enemy isn't capable to retake it:

vola_VL1 = abs(100-100)/2 = 0 = 0%.

battle-VIX-VL1 = 25%

(0,50625 + 0)/2 = 0,253125.

t+6:

vola_VL1 = 0.

battle-VIX-VL1 = 13%

(0,253125 + 0)/2 = 0,13.

t+7:

vola_VL1 = 0.

battle-VIX-VL1 = 6%

(0,126563 + 0)/2 = 0,06.

t+8:

vola_VL1 = 0.

battle-VIX-VL1 = 3%

(0,063281 + 0)/2 = 0,03.

With this simple VIX the engine could extend the ending of a battle, as soon as it crosses a certain threshold at certain VLs and would allow to finish the battle, when the VIX settles down under a certain threshold and if the battle's time is over.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you are playing against a human, anything goes - it's war.

If you are playing against the AI - it's more what would I do in real life? You "know" if you've overdone it. Curiously, the amount I've overdone it is usually linked to the amount of alcohol I've consumed. Dutch courage works against the AI, and if it doesn't, who cares anyway?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd say it's gamey,if the unit that rushes the vl has no real chance of surviving the encounter. Rushing a squad, or a tank into a position, that you know will get them wiped out in the next turn or two, is something you wouldn't do, so to do it in the final turn to grab some points, is gamey.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the input!

What I get is that its definitely NOT a no-no although it may be frowned upon depending on the circumstances.

What unfortunately no one considered was my additional question if there is a difference between QBs, tournaments and campaigns.

IMHO rushing is acceptable for the former two - as many have said: if you can't defend it you don't own it. But for the latter its a bit cheesy. Most likely its a suicide mission and you kill troops you might need in the next battle.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

poesel71,

We expend our virtual men at much higher than usual rates, when commanders wouldn't dare do so, else soon no commands, especially if an effective interdiction campaign is in place against men and materiel. In the Rumblings of War tournaments, we soon learned that it was by far the better part of valor to pull out those who could be saved if the tide of battle irreversibly turned. POWs counted double, and weapon and AFV crews were expensive to begin with. It made real sense to evacuate damaged armor rather than let it be captured. I've used F-Killed King Tigers as personnel transports to deny the foe a boatload of points, and those points proved critical in a scoring system based on how well you did in the scenario vs. all other gamers playing your side (Nabla System).

Regards,

John Kettler

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the input!

What I get is that its definitely NOT a no-no although it may be frowned upon depending on the circumstances.

What unfortunately no one considered was my additional question if there is a difference between QBs, tournaments and campaigns.

IMHO rushing is acceptable for the former two - as many have said: if you can't defend it you don't own it. But for the latter its a bit cheesy. Most likely its a suicide mission and you kill troops you might need in the next battle.

QBs: caveat emptor. Best to decide beforehand between you where the cheese line is drawn.

Tournaments: good tournament scenarios should make gamey rushes difficult/counterproductive, I'd think.

Campaigns: depends. If you've been given a "do or die" mission, then if you've got troops in good enough shape to get there, then it's your duty to try. If it fails (perhaps you didn't need to), the campaign will punish you later as your high attrition rate leaves you with inadequate force levels.

I think sonar's definition is a good one as to whether it's "gamey", but it can't cover every eventuality: who knows what's going to happen in a few minutes?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I pretty much agree with Womble

In a QB; you really should sort this - and a bunch of other things - out with your opponenet before hand.

In a tournament; go for it. It's a tourney, not a battle. If the game engine lets you do it, then do it.

In a campaign; who cares? It's just you and the AI, and the AI isn't going to scold you. Flag rush or don't flag rush, it's completely your decision. (same goes for scenarios against the AI)

In a H2H scenario; good design should prevent the worst excesses, but again it's probably a good idea to nut it out with your opponent prior to starting. Especially if you're playing someone for the first time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In a campaign; who cares? It's just you and the AI, and the AI isn't going to scold you. Flag rush or don't flag rush, it's completely your decision. (same goes for scenarios against the AI)

Sorry, bad wording from my side: with 'campaign' I meant those with multiple players per side playing for instance D-day or somesuch.

I'm not sure if I want to live to the day where I have to be polite to an AI... :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having more victory locations doesn't really solve anything, in fact it may even make it worse because your troops are more spread out and less able to put up a defense against a last minute rush (1 tank crew rushing a town defended by 4 riflemen is much more likely to succeed than 10 tank crew rushing a town defended by 40 riflemen). And then there is the confusion caused by multiple rushes at a time (more in RT than wego of course).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Unfortunately, your content contains terms that we do not allow. Please edit your content to remove the highlighted words below.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...