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AI handling of tank riders


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First of all - this is based on one scenario experience of tank riders, but I still want to bring this up.

What struck me as strange is that i had 4 assault guns approaching me, all fully loaded with tank riders. I managed to spot them first with my tanks and hit them over and over again until they were knocked out. It took 3-4 hits each. The strange thing was that the tank riders just sat there waiting to get killed. Wouldn't it be more realistic for them to bugger out of there as soon as the first shell hits and they start dying? Granted they were out in the open, but still. Those assault guns were death traps.

What are your experiences with how the AI handles this kind of situation?

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Haven't seen this in Red Thunder but something I saw recently in CMBN made me think mounted people need to bail from vehicles faster.

I had a fully loaded jeep bog and it so happened that an MG bunker could see it at a range of about 400m. The jeep started taking fire (couldn't move cause it was bogged). No-one moved for about 30 seconds while there morale crept up. Then after they took a casualty the squad broke (I had no control).

So the 4 surviving members sat in their bogged vehicle and all proceeded to die over the next four turns. The bunker was shooting through an orchard so a lot of bullets were getting eaten by trees.

The jeep never unbogged and the passengers were never unsuppressed enough for me to give them a bailout command. Ugly.

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It's notable that even when riders seem to be handled nicely - like this -

some of the core issues are still present ie if you have a SOP that player and AI tanks dismount their riders when the tank perceives an anti tank threat, the tanks have to stop to do so, which significantly increases their vulnerability.
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German riders should, imo, automatically dismount from a stationary vehicle when receiving small arms fire or suffering a casualty. More coding, yes. If you're absolutely determined to pull off an ahistorical desant you can put the tank on Move, Quick or Fast. From my reading the Germs abandoned tank rider assaults around '42, pace JasonC's post on Peiper's troops during the Bulge and other scattered incidents. Even then heavy weapons part of the squad tended to follow behind the slow moving tank for protection. A tactic that can't work in CM.

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Bumping this. Wouldn't mind hearing from Battlefront about how the troops decide to leave a vehicle.

Seeing a lot of situations where I think the TAC AI should be bailing the tank riders immediately and none where it feels like they are sticking it out correctly.

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Not the official BF view but I did Beta test. The mechanics as I understand them are a mix of morale and movement.

If the carrying vehicle is moving, the riders will never dismount.

If the carrying vehicle is stationary, the decider for whether the riders dismount is related to the morale of the riders. The better their morale, the more likely they are to cling on.

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If the carrying vehicle is moving, the riders will never dismount.

Which may be related to passenger coding for normal vehicles... but should be a special case for riding a tank.

Jumping off at speed is dangerous... so is being shot at while sitting in plain sight.

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acrashb - thanks for the info, I am aware of the dangers of both. Somebody asked how the code works - I gave the answer so don't shoot the messenger just because you don't like it.

The issue is complex and is one of those that involves a trade-off. Example being, a moving tank receives a few ineffective bullet rounds at 800m. Do the troops get off, remembering that the AI can't re-embark troops once they dismount. Cue 'Tank Riders Don't Stay On' threads by the dozen.

I can assure you and the OP that this issue came up in Beta testing, was discussed at length and the current implementation is as it is because it is currently the best compromise that can be achieved within the resources/codebase.

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There is something terribly wrong with the mechanics with tank riders, I have seen ruskies sit on tanks until every man becomes a casualty. Not even the thickest or toughest Russian soldier of WW2 is going sit on a tank to become mincemeat. After a few dead comrades moving or not I'd be making a fast exit. This is a top priority for the first patch IMHO.

How do you say Battlefront.

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  • 4 weeks later...
What struck me as strange is that i had 4 assault guns approaching me, all fully loaded with tank riders.

say was that the mission that has the repair shop objective on the very right side, looked from the german side? i saw some stubborn tank riders in that mission.

The issue is complex and is one of those that involves a trade-off. Example being, a moving tank receives a few ineffective bullet rounds at 800m. Do the troops get off, remembering that the AI can't re-embark troops once they dismount. Cue 'Tank Riders Don't Stay On' threads by the dozen.

i would hate for the issue to turn around and be a "they dont stay on" issue, as this can be frustrating too, but i think tank riding "into" battle followed by tank riding "in" battle and tank riding is only finished when the ride is destroyed? this is too far in the other direction.

in CMBB tank riding was more a battlefield taxi service than a war chariot like now. i liked the battlefield taxi better, although the current behavior has its merits but its too far taken in the other direction. its nice when you can drive them through some action but when you "know" as long as the tank drives, they stay on, makes one able to do some calculated reckless moves with this guys on tanks.

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...

If the carrying vehicle is moving, the riders will never dismount.

...

No, there seems to be a morale aspect even if the tank is moving.

Eg. in a current PBEM, my opponent was moving a loaded T34 towards me. My MG42 HMG had LoS and fired at it.

The riders took 1 casualty, then about 10 seconds later another 2 and they all then dropped off the back and huddled on the ground. The tank continued on.

Game is still ongoing, so I don't know if they're "panicked" or what their motivation/experience is, but they certainly did abandon ship while it was moving.

Of course, they're now in the open a long way from anywhere, so my opponent would probably have preferred them to stay on. :D

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