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Possible flaws/suggestions for FOW


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I have noticed what seem to me to be two related flaws in the FOW system. First, once you ID a unit, it stays ID'd. Case in point - I ID an "Infantry Squad" as a "Rifle 45 Squad" with 5 men remaining. It goes behind a house, I lose LOS and it becomes a star. Comes out 5 turns later, well away from any of my units, and I can immediately tell it still has 5 men. In fact, I shouldn't even be sure it's even the same squad, which is related to my second point, which is that the star/cross markers convey WAY too much info. If I see a marker disappear, I can back up and select that marker, then play the movie again. If it disappears completely, leaving nothing selected, I know that unit moved off the map. But, if it does not, I have selected the unit that left the star in the first place, so I know which unit it is, and that it is not a new unit. (If this is not clear, you can e-mail me with questions or just post them below.) What I would LIKE to see happen is this:

1. Sighting reliabilities can degrade with time and distance. Not meaning it goes from a Rifle 45 Squad back to an Infantry Squad, but I shouldn't still know how many men are left and be able to track when they die.

2. Star/cross markers _remain where they are_ until one of my units gets close enough for a good look at the area. Then I can't track what's going on with units supposedly out of my sight by selecting the markers.

Since I know a good bit of programming, I realize that this would probably be nontrivial to implement, but it would be very nice, for CM2 if nothing else.

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Guest Big Time Software

Hi Beamup,

Two good observations.

Problem with #1 is that sometimes you *should* keep absolute Intel, so how should the system know what to do? If there is a unit in a field of 5 men, and it runs into a house that you have LOS 360deg around, why should you "forget" that 5 men went in, even if it was one hour later? A Tiger going behind a big building, parking, and coming out the other side several turns later should also be still ID'd as a Tiger. BUT, your point is valid as there are certainly times when you should get confused or degraded info. Unfortunately, this is a big can of worms and we decided it was better to enhance for a future version. Can't do everything all at once smile.gif

As for your second point, there is only ever one representation of the unit at one time. So if a unit vanishes on the left (going to the symbol) and pops up on the right, the symbol goes away. Reason is similar to above. Sometimes you should know that a unit is still the same thing (a Tiger is not going to be easily forgotten smile.gif), but other times it shouldn't be remembered. We do not allow more than one symbol per unit because the screen would VERY quickly become filled with all sorts of junk that means nothing. It would be confusing to say the least. Unrealistically so. Imagine a unit ducking in and out of a house three times. Each time it went back in a symbol would be positioned there, even though you know darned well it is the same unit. But until you cleared the house you would have to deal with a bunch of obviously false info. Fun stuff to code around, eh? smile.gif

Steve

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>We do not allow more than one symbol per unit because the screen would VERY quickly become filled with all sorts of junk that means nothing. It would be confusing to say the least. Unrealistically so. Imagine a unit ducking in and out of a house three times. Each time it went back in a symbol would be positioned there, even though you know darned well it is the same unit. But until you cleared the house you would have to deal with a bunch of obviously false info.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Not as unrealistic as you might think Steve. I remember several times sitting in the TOC in front of my SITMAP with several OPFOR units posted that obviously we had no further information on. After a time we would take them off the map but often we wouldn't see that unit again for a while so it would stay posted as obviously obselete info for a long time. Some times we would be able to track a unit's movement, and be able to ascertain it's objective by looking at all the old posts. Obviously this can get very confusing, very quickly, but can be a terrific analysis tool.

My point is that perhaps you can have old contacts which LOS to has been lost, fade over a couple of minutes, until they disappear completely. This way you would be able to tell at a glance how reliable the info is (faded = not very reliable, bright = reliable). Or you could have the removal of old contacts be under the players control. I would like, I think, a combination of the two.

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Guest Scott Clinton

I really like Bills last paragraph and the suggestion in it.

But, I must ask how important is this really to a game covering the time span CM does? How many battles in CM will actually be more than 60 min of game time? I am not sure this would really add much in a engagement that is decided within at most an hour or two.

The examples you give (Bill) seem to me to over a much longer time span and over a much larger scale (I could, however be wrong in my interpretation).

------------------

The Grumbling Grognard

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Scott,

Yes you have misinterpreted.

I was a tactical analyst. We did real time analysis in the midst of a battle, in fact in exactly a CM sized battle (Battalion v Battalion). Sometimes these battles would last 30 minutes. Sometimes several hours. But usually once units were engaged the battle finished pretty quickly... just as in CM.

We were able to track OPFOR units in real time from SPOT reports and from from other sources. We would sit in the TOC plotting the battle and make our analysis as it developed. The old (perhaps minutes) contacts that we had posted were immensely valuable to us in ascertaining the intent of the enemy commander. Our analysis would be forwarded to the Battalion (usually Brigade) Commander and he would either accept them and implement them in his plans, or he would ignore them and just go on. Though usually this would cost him.

You would be surprised how much you can ascertain about an enemy force using some wise analysis and with a little knowledge.

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