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Command Layer in AI battles.


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I had grew a bit dissatisfied with aspects of co-coordinating my forces when playing the AI so now I follow these self imposed rules. Now that I have written them out they seem much more complicated than I would have thought but if you are at all interested in practice they are not as difficult to play with as they look below. I do not use anything outside the game interface, no writing stuff down etc.

This started one day playing in a campaign where I was area firing at stuff that a unit hadn't spotted, felt really dumb doing it and vowed that I would never do it again. But then situations presented themselves when it didn't seem dumb so I made some exceptions. Over the next many months the following guidelines grew exponentially from there.

I played real-time for a long time but nowadays play turn based in Iron mode. I have only ever followed these rules while playing turn based and I am not sure how following these rules would work in realtime. Battles feel more real and so much less gamey for me now in that my forces are no longer a giant amoeba with the right units always in the right spot. The rules rely heavily on the information sharing model that Battlefront built in and some blinkered vision from myself as I play. These rules attempt to separate out the roles of different units and place limitations on how responsive and co-ordinated your entire force is. C2 becomes more important as units that are in C2 tend to move faster and get help quicker.

I typically play campaigns but the rules should play out reasonably for any size battle. The model basically assumes there is a Company Commander overseeing the battle who broadly issues a plan and changes the plan as he goes along. The subordinate Plt Leaders then implement the plan and are viewed as the leaders specifically issuing the move orders to the rifle SQDs.

---------------ATTACKING

----------SET-UP

Artillery - Prebarrage no limitations. I do normally try and prebarrage, especially if I have suspected positions already marked out.

Infantry - A plan is given to each platoon and a rally point is designated. Depending on the plan the unit is either moving:

* "In formation" with an "assault" attitude

* "In formation" with an "move to contact" attitude

* "In formation" with an "recon" attitude

* "subformation" with a "move to contact" attitude

* "subformation" with a "recon" attitude

An "in formation" move is when Sqds are moving together as part of a platoon at a single objective and is expecting to be in command constantly/frequently with the Ptl Leader.

A "subformation" move is when a unit or smaller group of units is sent off by itself and will not be in contact with it's parent unit as combat mission sees C2. This would be typically be something such as a Sqd or scout team sent off solo to investigate flanks or a HMG team planted somewhere to provide covering fire.

Armour - A plan is formed. Sometimes this is for a platoon of tanks and at other times individual tanks get there own plan. A rally point is given. I do not deal with armour like infantry above. Nothing feels right to me as the more detailed rules for infantry above so they get their basic plan and off they go.

Support (HMG, mortars, trucks, jeeps) - A plan is formed. No rally point is given. What on earth are you doing that these guys needs a rally point?!. Just joking. They get a rally point too. You never know.

-----Attaching Support Units to a different formation.

Most commonly this is incorporating support units into a rifle Plt. For example attaching the HMGs from a weapons company to individual rifle platoons and leaving the mortars in a safer rear area. In these situations I make a mental note of this. Typically these units will never be "in command" as per the "green light" in the user interface as they are leaving their parent formation behind. For the purposes of these rules they are in command if they are within 50m or have a 70m LOS to the CO of the unit they are attached too. I am not sure if this is gamey or not but as I try and play Campaigns I am loathe to risk my mortars near a frontline so this often leaves me in a situations where HMGs are never in a position to fight unless they are attached to another unit. I still try and not do this. Another similar use for this is splitting pioneer SQDs and have them trail tanks or infantry platoons.

----------Combat Turns

The mission commences and each unit follows it's plan. Plotting long groups of orders assists with remembering plans but after playing this way for a long time it is automatic for me now. I have never written anything down to keep track. The initial plan gets followed until one of the change/completion/abandon plan criteria below kicks in.

-----Company Commanders Orders Change of Plan.

As long as a Plt Leader is in command with the higher unit a new plan can be issued at any time but both the Coy Co and the sub-ordinate getting the new plan do nothing for 1:15 minute. There is no restriction on the number of sub-ordinates that a can get a new plan at the same time. To keep within the spirit of the rules it is important that the new plan is in the realms of what the Cpy Co understands is happening. Selecting the Cpy Co and zooming out to the highest level is a nice indication of this. For example if a Plt that is in command and is advancing nicely down the right you may want to stop Plts advancing left and redirect them to follow the unit on the right. Conversely there will be situations where you can see a formation heading into trouble (often tanks unaware of AT guns that infantry have spotted). In these situations the tanks follow their plan until the unit itself becomes aware enough to change it's own plan.

-----Giving Units Orders.

These are actual quick/move/slow/hunt etc orders.

Infantry moving "In Formation"

- Withdraw button can be hit anytime/any situation.

- Withdraw button can be hit anytime/any situation then "dragged" 2 actions squares with a 10 second pause.

- HQ units can give themselves orders at anytime/any situation.

- A unit can always move one action square anytime/any situation.

- A unit that is in C2 can be issued new move orders at any time, although the orders should be based on their current plan and what the unit/Plt leader is seeing.

- A split SQD that is not in C2 may be issued new orders if the other half of the SQD is in command and within 50m. Both units suffer a 30 second delay (the out of C2 split sqd is being yelled at by the in C2 sqd).

- A unit that is not in command cannot get new orders except to preserve itself. This means the unit remains stationary, moves a single square or retreats to preserve themselves or declares themselves "lost" see below. This remains the case until C2 is re-established.

Infantry moving "Subformation". A subformation is a unit or group of units that are operating independent of their leader. As the in-game C2 system becomes irrelevant in these situations I attempt to keep groups that are operating as a subformation within a 70m LOS or 50m distance of each other.

- Withdraw button can be hit anytime/any situation.

- May be issued new orders at any time, the orders should be based on their current plan and what the unit/Plt leader is seeing.

-----Units Abandon their plan.

Infantry

Units will abandon their plan if any of the following criteria are met.

- An infantry unit with a "recon" attitude will abandon it's plan after spotting an enemy unit with 200m of it's objective or taking fire that changes it's morale state past nervous. It will observe the position (varies based on situation) then fall back from it's current position and take cover. If it is in command it will await a new plan. If it is not in command it will either rejoin it's parent unit/company commander or send a runner back to it's parent unit to obtain new orders.

- An infantry unit with a "move to contact" attitude will abandon it's plan after coming within 200m of an enemy (or thereabouts). The unit will attempt to stay in it's current position, destroy the enemy contacted and send runners back to it's parent unit if it is not in command.

- 3 casualties in a rifle sqd or 6 casualties in a platoon. Maintain position and obtain a new plan. This can be hard to monitor, especially with SQDs that are understrength. I DO NOT micromanage or track this closely. Basically if a sqd gets really hurt or two SQDs get dinged this kicks in. NOTE - at one point I tried using the CM user interface morale states but could never find a happy medium. Platoons either were too tentative or I was feeling compelled to follow bad plans that wiped out SQDs. This seems to work best. Also most of these rules were set before the 2.0 MG suppression upgrade.

- Spotting a threat it can't effectively deal with. (eg Infantry can see a tank on it's objective). Withdraw to a safe distance or maintain position then request a new plan.

After reading these you can see that only units attacking "in formation" can be relied upon to push home attacks hard. As the most aggresive posture a subformation can adopt is "move to contact". This results in tentative moves as even though they will attempt to hold position and defeat the enemy in front of them they will have to spend more time reporting back to their CO and getting plans than an "in formation" unit "assaulting".

NOTE - when I play there is nothing wrong with reissuing the same or similar plan after one gets cancelled. The above criteria are just a forced pause. For example a Rifle Plt "assault"ing a position would only have it's plan cancelled by either casualties or discovering a cluster of tanks on their objective. If a unit takes casualties it will undergo the enforced pause of 1:15 but the Cpy Co can still direct the Plt to attack anyway. The casualty count gets reset at this point and off they go again.

Armour

- Any high calibre rounds hits or near misses a tank (not smalls arms) or there is a crew casualty. My understanding from several memoirs is that AP shot had a very specific sound when passing and that tanks get to take defensive action even if they do not know where the shot originated from.

I found it difficult implementing a structure as detailed as the infantry model that was workable so for armour it is very simple. No restrictions on orders. Form a plan then plot a long string of orders and try not to deviate from the orders unless the unit(s) in question has spotting contacts that would alter their behaviour.

-----Runners

Runners are a method I use to share information or establish a command link outside the CM game interface. They typically are used when you use subformations that aren't in the normal chain of command or radios get smashed. If a unit wishes to contact it's parent and radio isn't an option then you must move a unit. This runner is typically a scout team running back to the Cpy Co. A runner simply moves to where ever the Cpy Co is and spends 1:15 in the same or adjacent square. Getting back close enough (ie 80 metres away) for long visual contact isn't sufficient enough to convery a new plan for me therefore moving in close is required. NOTE also that this time is typically long enough for the Combat Mission information sharing model to kick in so the Cpy Co would now typically have contacts for everything the runner knew. Conversely the Cpy Co can also send out runners to subordinates that it cannot contact. The runners going out and coming in follow the same movement method for "lost" units detailed below.

-----Lost Units

Sooner or later you will find a unit that got left behind or has fallen out of command and doesn't have a realistic chance of establishing it again as it can't move and the CO is too busy doing other things to chase them up. I decided that I can declare a unit "lost" at anytime. Once you decide that a unit is lost it can do the following:

- Withdraw button can be hit anytime/any situation.

- It can always move to preserve itself with a 10 second delay but cannot be given orders that will increase it's immediate danger.

- It will try and re-establish contact by moving either to it's rally point, the last known square of it's CO, or the last known square of the Cpy Co. This can sometimes be difficult to remember (the UI will show "?" for friedlies in the video phase but not currently in the orders phase as all friendlies are specifically marked) but not knowing exactly isn't critical as anything loosely close will serve the purpose. A command delay of 1:15 is given at the start* and at the last waypoint of the orders. *Exception would be if the unit is in danger and needs to go straight away. Then as soon as possible the "first" 1:15 delay is given.

- Each turn the unit is not in C2 it plots a new string of orders to their CO, each time ending with a 1:15 delay. This will lead to units taking longer to find COs that are moving around. As I cycle through every unit each orders phase lost ones are obvious.

- If the unit arrives at the rally point and is not in command then it can set out to either the current/adjacent square of the CO or Cpy CO again with a 1:15 delay.

NOTE - if the leader is moving around you find that most of the lost units journey is done in the last couple hundred metres which does feel a bit odd. This is an oddity I accept as it is the easist to manage and still serves it's purpose.

-----Requesting Support

Having Pioneers run from hundreds metres away to blow a hole in bocage for a unit not directly in it's chain of command and who it most likely was completely unaware of always felt dumb to me. If it was always planned then the Pioneers should have already been on their way. This can still happen of course but with these rules there is a slight delay. I treat this as a change of plan for the support unit. If a Plt is in command with the CO it can ask for support. After 1:15 of the CO unit establishing contact with the support unit (if it wasn't already in contact) the help sets out. Exception - if the CPY Co isn't in command is doesn't necessarily have to move itself. It can send a runner such as an XO to do this task. As per runners above moving to the same/adjacent square of the supprting unit then pausing both for 1:15 delay signifying the new orders is expected. This support request broadly covers requesting HMGs/mortars to come up and direct fire on an AT gun, an FFO come up to put down artillery on contacts it isn't necessarily aware of, trucks moving for resupply, pioneers to do their thing etc.

-----In Command

I have already mentioned a couple of excpetions but this just restating when a unit is in C2

- Using the game interface a unit is in C2 if is has a "green light" to it's immediate superior.

- Using the game interface a unit is in C2 if any of the "voice", "visual" or "radio" icons are present in the display. This is typically support units being near an officer of some sort or any unit not already in command being near a Cpy CO. As this is not an ideal chain of command so a 30 second delay is imposed on orders issued.

- A unit is in 50m of it's immediate superior. Battlefront have given a 50m radius for voice contact (very generic, fine in some situations, impossible in others) but some units such as jeeps/trucks don't establish voice contact and units that are hidden have the voice contact range reduced to 20m therefore for the purposes of these rules the unit is still deemed in C2 if within the 50m. The thinking here is if a PLT leader can be heard 50m away then I don't think a hiding SQD that gets yelled at from 30m away to advance is allowed to whisper back "Ssh we are hiding".

- A unit is in command if any other part of the unit is both in command and within 50m of the unit. A 30 second delay applies for both units. This rule usually applies to a split SQD with one half in command and the other half not. Another situation where this rule commonly kicks in is for some motorised units. A CO is sitting in a halftrack and has radio contact to several subordinate halftracks so everyone is green in command. In these halftracks there is often split SQDs. If a SQD alights from the halftrack the CM command structure will go to a red cross which doesn't feel right. This sort of behaviour also occurs when towed AT guns set-up. Again the 50m rule applies with a 30 second delay.

- Support Units (jeeps, trucks, ammo carrying halftracks). I have found these units are a little chronic for never being in command. I typically try to follow the above rule but be more generous. If anyone anywhere near them has any idea what is going on they may move with purpose. This is usually covers clusters of jeep or trucks relocating.

-----Information Sharing

With these rules using the information sharing model built into CM becomes a much more integral and fun part of the game for me. Plt Leaders under these rules find themselves running around a lot more to establish contact to kick their SQDs along, particularly if you spread your SQDs out. A unit that can see many more contacts gets to make better decisions also.

Units automatically share information with nearby units and also up and down their chain of command as part of any normal CM game. Playing with these extra rules encourages you to force this to happen. The classic example is infantry spotting AT Guns and everyone else being oblivious. With no command layer rules such as these the most likely end is artillery (from an FO who may not have spotted it) falling on the AT Gun while tanks (who are oblivious to the AT guns location or even presence) actively hide from it. In these types of situations if a unit is aware of both (ie is aware of the AT gun and can see the friendly tanks) I move the unit to the tank platoon leader. It takes time but eventually this knowledge will be shared and the tank platoon can operate with this knowledge. This also highlights the advantages of having tanks come under the same C2 structure as the information is normally shared quite a bit quicker (thinking the Kampfgruppe Engal campaign here).

-----Resupply

For scenarios that have trucks, jeeps or halftracks that can supply ammo I have some fairly basic rules similar to lost units that I follow.

- The CPY Co always knows where the resupply units are. Anything else was too awkward.

- If a unit is in command to the CPY Co they may move to wherever the supply units are and get more ammunition.

- If a unit is not in command to the CPY Co they may move to either the rally point or the last know position of a CO as per a lost unit.

- If a unit is at it's rally point it can then move off to get resupplied (this is working on the assumption that there are support staff etc not represented in game that can direct them to the resupply). I often have my rally point and the resupply in the same location so this is usually a moot point.

----------No-no Commands.

These are things that I do not do mainly to reduce gameyness and to even up what should be more even fights against the AI.

-----Hiding

Infantry do not get to use the hide command to avoid rifle/MG fire from enemy infantry after a firefight has started. If you wish to maintain a low profile issue a short covered arc or move. This is mainly to prevent using the hide command to avoid incoming fire in the middle of a firefight. The AI simply does not area fire enough so in some situations it is too easy to hide for a turn then start fighting again when the situation improves. Hiding to protect from tanks or artillery is fine. Exception is casualties. If a unit has two casualties then it may hide for buddy aid purposes.

-----Area Fire

Unless you can specifically see a unit or contact marker you cannot area fire at a square. Also if there are multiple contacts in an area you cannot fire first at the one you know is the greater threat if there are other contacts that are more recent for the unit in question (the spotting contact is a darker shade of green (allies) or grey (axis)). The first area fire must be directed at the most recent contact.

Exception 1) Immediate superior has spotted something and is in voice/close visual. In these situations the commander is essentially telling a unit to fire at a spot.

Exception 2) Everyone else is shooting why can't I join in. This is basically when adjacent units are firing but a unit still hasn't spotted anything. The most common example that pops up for me is a Plt of infantry shooting at opposite bocage with a tank in support that has not a single spotting contract. In these situations I use a 2 to 1 rule. You can area fire but the first shot cannot be on a target that is known to other units and not to the firing unit. The second and subsequent area fires can be wherever you please. This way you still get to shoot but it isn't unerringly accurate, ultra-timely or quite as ammo efficient support that would normally be produced. Exception to the exception, a tank can never ever area fire at an AT Gun that it does not have a contact icon for.

-----Artillery

Similar to area fire the FFO needs to be aware of the situation before calling in a strike. Also I incredibly rarely cease fire unless the spotting unit can see friendlies moving close. Never ceasing fire also rules out gamey behaviour such as calling in long duration, low rate of fire strikes in on targets such as AT guns and ceasing fire the second it is destroyed.

-----Firing From Waypoint as an LOS TOOL.

I don't do it. I happily move around the map looking at things but don't do this. If I want to get specific LOS from a location I move a unit there. Furthermore if I plot a shoot and scoot to fire at a spot then find I can't see the intended target I still move there and give myself a 10 second pause and either don't fire at all or target somewhere else.

-----Dodging Artillery

I suspect most players with experience see a spotting round fall and know who most likely got spotted and is about to have arty drop on their head. I don't have any sort of feel for how this played out in real life but I feel very gamey sprinting the unit in question to safety and everyone else staying put.

What I decided was allowable is-

- the unit threatened AND everyone that is part of that formation (eg. entire platoon) gets to Hide.

- the unit threatened AND everyone that is part of that formation (eg. entire platoon) gets to move then Hide. Typically by hitting the withdraw button unless it is an awfully silly result.

I grappled with this and the above typically feels better than doing nothing and at the other end doesn't feel as gamey as doing the ideal activity for the threatened unit and nearby units continue on unaffected.

---------------DEFENDING

As these rules are specifically versus the AI and it is not really possible to design scenarios where the AI attacks well with anything but overwhelming force the defense options are very basic. From experience in the game you are very strung out when on defense so basically command is usually chucked out the window.

----------SET-UP

Artillery Prebarrage no limitations.

Infantry - A plan is given to each platoon and a rally point is designated. Depending on the plan the unit is either "last stand", "casualties", "fighting withdrawal".

Armour - A plan is given to each platoon and a rally point is designated.

Support - A plan is given to each platoon and a rally point is designated.

----------Combat Turns

The mission commences and each unit follows it's plan. Typically this involves sitting still and retreating after contact is made depending on their posture.

"Last stand" units attempt to hold the position and repel everything and only move back when running low on Ammo or morale becomes broken.

"Casualties" units attempt to hold position and only move back after 20% casualties are taken.

"Fight Withdrawal" units will constantly fall back. Typically spend 30 seconds in contact fighting then shift.

If a unit is ever broken it must observe "Fighting Withdrawal" behaviour.

The rest of the rules are the same except the time limits are reduced. The 1:15 delays are all reduced to 45 seconds and the 30 second delays are reduced to 15 seconds.

Units in C2 can be issued aggresive orders such as moving forward.

Units not in C2 may not fall back if they are ignorant of being flanked. This means if enemy units are coming around their sides and the unit is not aware of this they do not to get fallback. Exception - Combat sounds within 200m. There are situations when combat can be taking place quite close to troops but they do not get a spotting contact. When very close (ie within 200m) you can assume they have spotting icons and act appropriately.

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Wow, Peregrine. You have obviously put a lot of thought into this and I for one am mightily impressed with the finished product. I am guessing that most players are not going to want to deal with such a formal system, but those few who do will have their gaming experience greatly enriched. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

Michael

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No problem.

While obviously a fair bit of thought did go into it this was across many months and many battles. It started with the "NO-NO" commands and grew from their. I have actually only written these rules down once for posting here. As it grew incrementally I was following them automatically, never needed a reference.

I didn't really write a summary about how it affects game play so here are the key points.

I use 1:15 delays for ease of management. You could use shorter ones as a preference but with 1:15 it is easy to follow. Say a Plt leader wants to change his plan he gets a 1:15 pause. Next turn when I cycle through my units and I see a 15 second pause remaining I know that the previous turn I wanted to do something special with a unit. Short delays disappear across the 1 turn based mode. This helps with big battles and across save games.

1. While it does take slightly more time (I tend to cycle through every unit in the orders phase) it isn't about micromanagement. The impact is you sometimes measure distances with the LOS tool in the orders phase and find yourself incorporating pauses into orders you would otherwise issue immediately. I suspect most micro managers would despise these types of rules because there are frequently occasions when you have units doing things you expressly don't want.

2. Everyone makes some sort of plan before they start (I hope?!), with these guidelines there are problems with deviating from this plan in the form of time penalties. Units are committed to doing something (even sitting still) and due to C2 problems this commitment will extend for longer than is ideal from a borgs point of view. While plans and orders can change anything but immediate self preservation does not happen immediately.

3. Your forces move a little more slowly so tend to be more vulnerable to enemy artillery. Also there are (dis)advantages to spreading out (units drift in and out of command) or concentrating (platoons perpetually in command) that affect speed of movement and exposure to fire.

4. Specialist units (FOs, HMG, mortars, pioneers) don't just get to sprint at quick or fast to exactly where they are required, when they are required. The game feels more real to me in the platoons leaders need to stop and ask for help from their supporting cast.

5. The information sharing model that Battlefront has incorporated becomes a fun part of the game. You WILL find yourself using runners or Plt leaders to move to surrounding units to actively promote the sharing of spotting contacts.

6. Attacks do break down occasionally due to leaders or radios getting wrecked. Doesn't happen often but attacks will slow down dramatically or stall if leaders fall. Also putting units through the meat grinder where they fight to the last man is much harder. Enforced pauses due to casualties make it difficult to push units hard and still be effective.

7. When attacking the decision to "assault" or "move to contact" becomes important. Assault units push harder, move faster and will continue to follow the initial plan after contact with the enemy and if they drift out of command. "Move to contact" units will move slower having to get new plans more frequently but tend not to take casualties as quickly or follow through with bad plans.

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Interesting idea.

But only adoptable freely by players with all the backdraws of motivation, once things don't go as expected during a game. For me looking all the time at the rules and reading and checking them and finding the appropriate rule during cool action does not sound very attractive.

There is one mode that greatly increases realism and also avoids the god-view knowledge and a mode BFC could implement as a normal difficulty level without the players to cheat or ignore the rules: The iron man-mode with no free movement on the map but viewing locked to units at unit height only and with an overview level at 8 or 9.

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I cannot speak to how hard it is to learn the rules cause I never had to. I developed them across months and it went from one rule to what is above. I never set out to design a set rules and never wrote a single thing down in the process.

Only when I realised that I hadn't changed them for a while did I think that other people might be interested in them and this is when I recorded them and posted them above. And while there is more than I thought I suspect most CM players would get pretty good at remembering all of them pretty quickly.

As for AAR I fully planned to do one but while I am very computer literate I am forum illiterate as far as using paint to do up screen shots etc. If someone can suggest the most efficient way of doing this I may give it a go.

Some people may also think it will raise casualties but this isn't necessarily so. To make sure I didn't miss stuff out I played the first mission of Kampfgruppe Engel and only had 6 casualties while jotting the rules down. Got clobbered the next one though.

The main reason I use these rules is that while I believe CMx2 is vastly superior* to CMx1 it suddenly felt like it was going to have a much shorter lifespan for me. Mainly due to the presence of the individual spotting my tried and true tactics felt so utterly gamey. Particularly tanks and FOs pouring fire into areas where they do not have a single contact. Tanks moving around the map happily then the second anyone spots an AT gun every tank hides from it. These rules eliminate this gameyness for me but also provide exceptions to work around them.

Also sending runners around if radios get smashed, actively trying to share information with adjacent units, units get "lost", losing leaders slows attacks down. These things are actually part of battles for me now and add flavour as well as removing gamey tactics.

* I am not going to mention smaller scope in each theater and lack of Eastern Front.

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As for AAR I fully planned to do one but while I am very computer literate I am forum illiterate as far as using paint to do up screen shots etc. If someone can suggest the most efficient way of doing this I may give it a go.

I am sure there are as many methods as there people writing them and no doubt you will make up your own system. Since you asked here is what I do.

A bit of setup:

  • MS Word to do the write up. I suck as spelling so I need the support and it allows me to edit and change.
  • Paint.NET for editing the graphics. I do own Photoshop but that sucker is a beast for screen shots Paint.NET is up to the job.
  • FRAPs to capture the screen shots. I try to take the detail action shots at camera level 1 or 2 and with the icons off and the trees on.
  • Setup a directory structure with a top level folder XYZ AAR this directory contains the unprocessed screen captures from turns that have not been written up yet and the Word document. It will also contain any additional graphic files I might need. A sub folder named pictures which contains the produced pictures that will be used in the post.
  • A script that lives in the pictures sub directory that when run creates a file containing a list of all pictures and string to use in front and at the end of each to create an image tag for the post.
  • FireFTP in my Fire fox browser to upload the pictures to my web site's file system.

The script looks like this:

dir /B /-N > files.txt

echo [IMG]http://www.lesliesoftware.com/forforumposts/EpicBattleAAR/ >> files.txt

echo [/IMG] >> files.txt

call notepad files.txt

And produces this:
736Minute051-050-MovedAway.jpg

737Minute051-050-FoundTarget.jpg

738Minute051-050-Grenades.jpg

739Minute051-050-Grenades.jpg

740Minute051-050-Grenades.jpg

741Minute051-050-TakeOutTheCrew.jpg

742Minute051-050-MoreTDHavoc.jpg

files.txt

updatefilelist.cmd

[IMG]http://www.lesliesoftware.com/forforumposts/EpicBattleAAR/ 

[/IMG] 
After each turn I spend a bit of time copy and pasting those image tags to get a file that looks like this (currently I do this manually but really it would be good to automate this - note the extra space between the I and the M is to prevent the image limitation script from triggering they are not really in any of my files):
[I MG]http://www.lesliesoftware.com/forforumposts/EpicBattleAAR/737Minute051-050-FoundTarget.jpg[/IMG]

[I MG]http://www.lesliesoftware.com/forforumposts/EpicBattleAAR/738Minute051-050-Grenades.jpg[/IMG]

[I MG]http://www.lesliesoftware.com/forforumposts/EpicBattleAAR/739Minute051-050-Grenades.jpg[/IMG]

[I MG]http://www.lesliesoftware.com/forforumposts/EpicBattleAAR/740Minute051-050-Grenades.jpg[/IMG]

[I MG]http://www.lesliesoftware.com/forforumposts/EpicBattleAAR/741Minute051-050-TakeOutTheCrew.jpg[/IMG]

[I MG]http://www.lesliesoftware.com/forforumposts/EpicBattleAAR/742Minute051-050-MoreTDHavoc.jpg[/IMG]

files.txt

updatefilelist.cmd

[IMG]http://www.lesliesoftware.com/forforumposts/EpicBattleAAR/ 

[/IMG] 

To write up the turn:

  1. Play the turn capturing images as I see fit
  2. Copy the newly captured images from the FRAPs directory to the XYZ AAR directory
  3. Delete any duplicate or un needed captures
  4. Rename the captured images using a format <number><turn><short description>. You can see examples above.
  5. Open them all in Paint.NET and crop and tweak. This would be when to add text or arrows to a screen shot. I resize them to 1000 pixels on the long side and save them as jpg files into the pictures sub folder.
  6. Drag and drop the images into the Word document for the write up
  7. Put a caption on each pictures that corresponds to its <number>. This is important because when you paste the word text into the post text box the pictures in word will be represented by these captions.
  8. Write up my turn around the pictures as needed. Edit, proof read etc.
  9. Fire up my FTP client and copy the new pictures from the pictures sub folder to my web site's AAR directory
  10. Run the file list script and edit the file to contain a list of properly formed image tags for each picture.
  11. Copy and paste the turn write up into the new forum post
  12. Replace the <number> lines in the post with the fully formed image tags that are ready in the picture file.
  13. Press the Submit button

Wow, like you the feels complex after writing it down. I don't find that it is and the important thing is it has become routine.

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As for AAR I fully planned to do one but while I am very computer literate I am forum illiterate as far as using paint to do up screen shots etc. If someone can suggest the most efficient way of doing this I may give it a go.

Thanks for sharing these - very interesting.

If Ian's comprehensive AAR guide doesn't put you off (:)), I'd really like to see an AAR too ...

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LOL indeed. I wrote that with out Word so no grammar squiggly line to save me.

But, such absence is sometimes an improvement over spellcheckers that correct as you go: ask me how I know that the spellchecker thinks that a hurriedly typed apology for the inconvenience should really have been an apology for the incontinence ... :)

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Ian, that AAR you did for the 20,000 point battle was super. Apart from the minor image hosting issue, it was just perfect.

Thanks for the kind words. Not quite over yet but my opponent is being very slow. I need to poke him in real life to get him going again.

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Very interesting post. I hope you find the time to post an AAR of the system. It would help to understand it if we could see it in action. I started to incorporate some of your rules into a battle against the computer. (For PBEM I still just use the provided C2 system) Your system makes HQ units behave more realistically. Using runners was a great idea. Also very relevant to MG due to the radio problems that were experienced. I have questions about rally points and the withdraw button in your system.

Rally points. Do you designate a rally point in the set up zone or do you make the various units move to a designated rally point further into the map after the battle starts? Or maybe a combination of the two? What is the significance of rally points in your system? I think a unit may return to its rally point in an attempt to reestablish C2 and maybe to get resupplied. Are rally points used for anything else?

You refer to hitting the withdraw button. How does that work? For example do you give a fire team the move command quick and have it move X meters away from the enemy to a place of relative safety? Thanks.

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  • 3 years later...

This Thread has motivated me to look at some Miniature Rules from back in the day, and incorporate them for CMx2...

Im going to start playtesting a couple systems that I will adapt against the AI...One system is called WRG (Wargames Research Group) WWII Miniature Rules and other is Scotty Bowden's Stars & Bars a Civil War Miniatures Rules.

For the adaptaion of the Stars & Bars system Platoons will be the Manuever element and in Block Formation (not literally per-say), and dice are throw to determine if each Platoon gets to move or change orders that turn (ofcourse, beginning of game orders are automagic) with different % if PHQ, CHQ, BHQ is within Command Range. The various orders are Attack, Defense, Probe, and Reserve.

Joe

 

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12 hours ago, JoMc67 said:

<Snip> Im going to start playtesting a couple systems that I will adapt against the AI...One system is called WRG (Wargames Research Group) WWII Miniature Rules and other is Scotty Bowden's Stars & Bars a Civil War Miniatures Rules. <Snip> 

Interesting!   I use a modified system of @Peregrine rules.  By the withdraw button I believe he was referring to the Evade Command.  I probably still don't fully understand his rally point concept. 

I look forward to hearing how this works out.  I'm always looking for ways to improve the rules for games against the AI.   

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I really like this and will definitely implement these rules into my play style, I really like the C2 system but it does require restraint on the part of the player to get the most out of it. On the modern battlefield, how difficult is it to pass information horizontally? As in from an infantry platoon to a tank platoon, does the information have to go all the way up to Btn and then trickle down or are Pltn and Company command equipped with the means to easily contact them directly without having to send a  messenger to physically deliver the information?

Edited by Snakroll
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8 hours ago, Snakroll said:

I really like this and will definitely implement these rules into my play style, I really like the C2 system but it does require restraint on the part of the player to get the most out of it. On the modern battlefield, how difficult is it to pass information horizontally? As in from an infantry platoon to a tank platoon, does the information have to go all the way up to Btn and then trickle down or are Pltn and Company command equipped with the means to easily contact them directly without having to send a  messenger to physically deliver the information?

It depends on their command arrangements and whether they are on the same net. Taking your example let's say we have a Company group with three platoons and an armoured troop attached then (using a vague recollection of UK Voice Procedures) the radio net would be something like this:

C/S 0 = Coy HQ

C/S 10 = 1 Platoon

C/S 20 = 2 Platoon

C/S 30 = 3 Platoon

C/S 40 = Tank Troop

If the tank troop needs to speak to 1 platoon then it comes up and says 'Hello 10 this is 40 message over', 1 platoon replies 'Send over' or '10 send over'. They then pass whatever messages they need to and because all callsigns are on the same net, then 0, 20 and 30 are also party to the conversation or in Army parlance 'on an all-informed net'.

Edited by Combatintman
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1 hour ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

@Combatintman  Can you talk about the sort of data-link technologies that are available at all?

Not in any great detail but conceptually they are pretty simple. Vehicles fitted with them will automatically send positional data which will replicate on whatever Battle Management System (BMS) is in use. This can then be supplemented by data and voice transmissions. Voice comms are still by far the most important means of comms at  the tactical level because nothing beats the immediacy of voice,

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