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Scenarios: variable force mix?


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Reading the thread about the new triggers and the one about lack of feed- back on scenarios, got me thinking about the nature of scenarios, especially playing against the AI.

In many respects they are a 'one-shot' deal. Once played you know the composition of both forces and, unless there are multiple battle plans for the AI, or you are playing H2H, the setup as well.

Of course, potentially different setups can lead to differing outcomes but if side A has two tanks and you have just KO'ed the second one, you always know that side A has no tanks left. And so on.

In addition to multiple AI plans and triggers could it be a good idea to also have multiple potential force selections available as well?

Most scenarios are built around very specific goals, so I am not suggesting alternatives that are too divergent from the 'default' force; no all-tanks instead of all infantry.

Perhaps a mix that contains three tanks instead of two, with slightly less infantry; or another AT gun or HMG team etc. etc. Four AI plans together with four variations of the force mix could potentially yield 16 different scenarios.

In that way scenarios would have a much higher replay value; a greater 'shelf life', if you like.

Given the time, effort and expertise that it takes to produce a decent scenario in CMX2 (which is why, I suppose, we have far fewer than in CMX1) it would seem to make sense to try and squeeze a bit more life from them.

Also (and I tremble as I type this!) it doesn't seem as if it would be too difficult to implement (starts to build sandbag wall in anticipation of incoming.....).

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For every scenario, every different force mix requires a different AI plan. Essentially what you are asking for is a QB generator that has a specifically tailored AI plan that matches each variable force that may pop up. It might seem like a great idea, but aside from the impossibility of creating a specially tailored AI plan for variable forces that is something more challenging than what a QB AI can give you, the scenario itself may be depicting a very specific historical action where a variable force would be inappropriate.

If you want variable forces you can always play QBs.

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For every scenario, every different force mix requires a different AI plan. Essentially what you are asking for is a QB generator that has a specifically tailored AI plan that matches each variable force that may pop up. It might seem like a great idea, but aside from the impossibility of creating a specially tailored AI plan for variable forces that is something more challenging than what a QB AI can give you, the scenario itself may be depicting a very specific historical action where a variable force would be inappropriate.

If you want variable forces you can always play QBs.

I'm not suggesting a QB generator but some variation in force mix for scenarios.

So the scenario designer picks the forces for both sides - the optimal, historical or default forces for that particular scenario - but then goes on to create a number of additional force mixes with some small differences (or maybe even large ones if the scenario can handle it) from which one is randomly selected; so that the player is never entirely sure if he is facing the exact same force as in a previous playing of that scenario.

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The AI does have a function where you can vary the timing of reinforcements showing up, up to 30 minutes. I think variable reinforcements were used more back in CMSF. Scenario designers don't use it much because reinforcement times so random makes planning coherent tactics difficult. But the difference between a pair of Tigers appearing on the far hill 20 minutes into a scenario or 30 minutes into a scenario can make all the difference.

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The AI does have a function where you can vary the timing of reinforcements showing up, up to 30 minutes. I think variable reinforcements were used more back in CMSF. Scenario designers don't use it much because reinforcement times so random makes planning coherent tactics difficult. But the difference between a pair of Tigers appearing on the far hill 20 minutes into a scenario or 30 minutes into a scenario can make all the difference.

And with the advent of location-based triggers in v3, the difficulty in coordinating with variably-arriving reinforcements receives some amelioration. Have the in-play troops recognise a terrain trigger set off by the reinforcement group, and they'll kick off their counterattack (or whatever) when the reinforcements arrive or reach a preset point...

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