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Infantry TAC AI - trying not to rant


Ardem

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This is a CMx2 thing and I had hoped it would get better over time, but sometime the Infantry Tac AI is so frustrating it pulls my hair out.

 

I been a player and holder of CM games from CMx1 to now my latest Black Sea.

 

I absolutely love the vehicle TAC AI even when I do not like what the crew does, it still makes sense, the vehicle become endangered and throws itself into reverse only to get hit from a previous spotted At weapon, still perfectly understandable.

 

But close combat Infantry Tac AI is what I feel lets the game down in the biggest way, I will explain some scenario and what I see and what i would prefer to see.

 

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PERCEIVED ISSUE:Running, I am not sure if it is the animation or they are so very slow but when guys a running they seem to be doing it on ICE, as in lots of movement but very little forward progress, 9 time out of ten they are all on top of each other so it easy for the enemy to get multiple kills. Now the speed may be due to the amount of weight they are carrying but the speed is exactly the same in WW2 where the in very little weight factor.

 

PERCEIVED SOLUTION: What I rather see, is they move in pairs and individuals, with a more open gap between the soldiers, this way they all do not get slaughter like sheep. This could be an extra command like sprint, to get across streets, without loosing a whole 4 man team, because they are all snails without a care when moving.

 

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PERCEIVED ISSUE: Assaulting from a breached corner into a house. To do this you need your 8 man squad to Quick to the breech and then the other team to runs forward into the house, this normal exposed the first team to a hail of fire as the moving into an open area (rubbled wall) which gets them killed then the team racing in like lemming charge in without fire support, goo by 8 man to to a single person with an 8 AK or SMG.

 

PERCEIVED SOLUTION: You can have a number of the team stack on the corner of the wall and support by fire, this has them less exposed, the assault team then breeches.

 

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PERCEIVED ISSUE: The Breaching team in a house assault get slaughtered come in the front door, The 4 man team act stupidly regardless the distance the team is away from the door, they pile in to there death like lemmings. The enemy just needs to be a single automatic weapon guy to take down a full team. The assault team does not halt its attack, does not toss a grenade in, does not do anything but run and die. I would just like to say I hate every stuid the tac Ai does, but I am giving one example above.

 

PERCEIVED SOLUTION:

The assault team stacks at the door, so we do not have 4 separate entries spread over 10 secs. If the team suspects enemy it toss in a grenade before entry, it enters in the door the first few metres in a rush then halts and frees at the enemy it does not run all the way to the end of the house to turn around and come back to first at the enemy at the front door. It the sweeps as a team through the house and stops an fire as a team at contact.

 

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PERCEIVED ISSUE: Move and then in contact. I prefer to use move sometimes instead of hunt cause I find hunt they stopping all the time on non valid threats that not firing at them, but using move in woods is a pain. If they get ambushed in the wood, the player continues to run and get slaughtered even if it running into the fire.

 

PERCEIVED SOLUTION: If the fire is come from the front, then the move is cancelled and the TAC AI stops and returns fire, before they have to lose a man in the process and start cowering.

 

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PERCEIVED ISSUES: Cowering, I understand cowering makes sense, but I see cowering out in the open, I seen a whole team cower in the woods, and continually get suppress and eventually killed cause they will not even attempt to return fire. This frustrates me more then anything.

 

PERCEIVED SOLUTION: Blind firing, not to hit the enemy but to suppress back to gain a little morale back, throwing grenades, throwing smoke if they have them. crawling away out of range. I rather this then see each individual solider die one after the other cause they will not do anything but cower.

 

 

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PERCEIVED ISSUES: Hunt in single file, move in single file. All movement is is single file. This allows  for longer time to get set for contact and normally means all you guys end up cowering and picked off one by one.

 

PERCEIVED SOLUTION: Hunt when moving through woods should be in arrowhead or line formation, this would allow return fire on contact, right now it contact and then cower cause they need to run forward and the firing at the pint guy suppresses the rear guys, the time that my guys normally do better is when i am shot from the side, which they happen to be in a line formation.

 

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There is many more bugbears I have of the Infantry TAC AI, but these are my major ones, and the reason I find this game frustrating. I know there is certain things I could be doing better and I am sure a lot of people will come to the defence I the TAC AI . I am not saying it is super bad, just these things could be improved on. Right now infantry without a huge amount of micro management on building assaults or any assault in general take what I would consider unnecessary losses due to it stupidity, where a normal human would do something different. I would love to see BF spend so more time on this front, rather then more vehicles etc. 

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Breaching has been explained in other topics but their are ways to blow walls/hedgerows without charging the engineers in. Set a blast waypoint *up to* the point you want to breach if you just want them open the point. Setting the blast waypoint *through* the wall is treated breach and clear. 

 

"Cowering" is an abstraction for all manner of behaviors that prevent the immediate return of fire. It's been said somewhere in the game manuals but I don't think it should surprise anyone when it's mentioned that most people do not like to be shot at. If your men are so heavily suppressed that they return fire meagerly or not at all they're taking too much fire. Don't rely on the suppression gauge as an end-all. 

 

Quick moving into enemy positions is something that took me years to figure out for some reason but the solution was actually very simple. Plot, many, waypoints. A team pauses on every quick point for at least 2-3 seconds and you can pause them longer if you want. The men that reach the point first stop and scan for targets while the other men catch up. 

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PERCEIVED ISSUE:Running, I am not sure if it is the animation or they are so very slow but when guys a running they seem to be doing it on ICE, as in lots of movement but very little forward progress, 9 time out of ten they are all on top of each other so it easy for the enemy to get multiple kills. Now the speed may be due to the amount of weight they are carrying but the speed is exactly the same in WW2 where the in very little weight factor.

All limitations of the engine. As much as possible CM is 1:1 scale. But there are times when there will need to be approximations. And the running animation is one of them.

And bunching up is a limitation due to the fact that all action revolves around one point in each 8x8 meter square of which all the maps are made from.

 

PERCEIVED ISSUES: Hunt in single file, move in single file. All movement is is single file. This allows  for longer time to get set for contact and normally means all you guys end up cowering and picked off one by one.

 

See above.

A well know issue that seems to go against proper military doctrine all armies understand.

The best workaround is to split your squad. It requires more work, but it saves pixel lives. ;)

 

 

 

PERCEIVED ISSUE: The Breaching team in a house assault get slaughtered come in the front door, The 4 man team act stupidly regardless the distance the team is away from the door, they pile in to there death like lemmings. The enemy just needs to be a single automatic weapon guy to take down a full team. The assault team does not halt its attack, does not toss a grenade in, does not do anything but run and die. I would just like to say I hate every stuid the tac Ai does, but I am giving one example above.

Urban fighting is a well known limitation. Needs work. Us lay-folk know it. Battlefront knows it. Requires time and resources that's not available at the moment.

 

In the AAR Bill Hardenburger is participating in, he mentions the best work around to entering a building is to have your guys wait outside for a minute or two take make sure the interior is clear. I've used this with good results.

 

Also, if you have breaching charges, make your own door. The blast will stun whomever is inside. (Big guns help with this too. B) )

 

 

PERCEIVED ISSUES: Cowering, I understand cowering makes sense, but I see cowering out in the open, I seen a whole team cower in the woods, and continually get suppress and eventually killed cause they will not even attempt to return fire. This frustrates me more then anything.

Again, another approximation to get the point across in a visual way that the unit is effected psychologically.

 

I hope this helps.

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Breaching has been explained in other topics but their are ways to blow walls/hedgerows without charging the engineers in. Set a blast waypoint *up to* the point you want to breach if you just want them open the point. Setting the blast waypoint *through* the wall is treated breach and clear. 

 

 

Good point! It also works if you set the blast waypoint parallel to the target.

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The best workaround is to split your squad. It requires more work, but it saves pixel lives. ;)

 

 

I often don't even split my squads, i'm lazy as hell. I don't think i've been much better or worse off for it either. Fact is if the men are taking too much fire they need more support before they can advance further. The assault command is my movement of choice when attacking known enemy positions. With waypoint frequency based on local terrain. If i've got a squad advancing through, say, an open field with clear lines I don't worry about setting more than one or two waypoints. If it's a forest or town I set many waypoints very close to each other so the teams don't get out of sight.  

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LOL we have all wanted to rant at some point or another over our pixeltruppen.

 

I get over it by watching and noting when they do things right, and I don't mean just in the sense of the way I ordered them to.  Example

 

This team was ordered into this building, on the way they took fire from a guy in the building to the left.  They paused on their own, eliminated the enemy, then proceeded to their objective.  Now note, from the left guy number 1 and guy number 5.  They have taken a position with their weapons trained on the last known position they took fire from.  The TAC AI might not always do what you want, but it is far from stupid.

 

 

 

TACAI_zps645c4dd7.jpg

 

 

I actually prefer the infantry TAC AI to the vehicle TAC AI.

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sburke: I am constantly shaking my head over the infantry TAC AI, so I wish I had some great example but normally its a lone survivor that been hammer by heavy weapons, only to ruin my day and take out a whole squad. I wish i could say I have these nice examples but it normally the AI against me that have wonderful examples of shooting while remain hidden or the "AI that gets the cannot be supressed" and kills off a 4 man team. <smile>

 

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Please do not confuse my breach with explosive breach on walls, I am normally talking a wall that has been breach say by artillery of a tank and the infantry arrives onsite later, your troops are either in cover with no LOS, or in the rubble with full LOS and no cover there is no in between, hedge are not an issue as you can fire through hedges.

 

Half squads I do, but it is a hell a lot of micromanagement and in the end, I end up losing both squads cause a 4 man team get s pinned faster then and 8 man squad or the 8 man squad get s more casualties. The only way to win is my using vehicles to pound targets and move in, but I find thatsilly when trained soldiers should be able to breach and clear a compound to eliminiate a single hiding soldier without losing 8 man, cause of TAC AI silliness.

 

You cannot use hunt cause they, stop, move is just asking to be killed, quick is they are moving too quickly to fire back. It almost you need a new option like assault which allows the 4 team members to suppress while moving forward, or atleast focus on windows and move forward and if the enemy pops up shoot them.

 

I just believe on so many release of BF titles, that this is an area they should focus on, imo it never been right since Shock force and only got marginally better.

 

 

"Urban fighting is a well known limitation. Needs work. Us lay-folk know it. Battlefront knows it. Requires time and resources that's not available at the moment."     I am sorry I don't buy this line anymore with the amount of titles released and being such a known issue, it is something they need to fix before release more titles. It needs to be a priority it is to me a major stick point in the game and really where I see the most frustration in playing Combat mission.

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I always split my squads into as many teams as possible.  Quick is the default movement I use. I almost never use Assault. Rather, I plot waypoints every 1-5 action squares with 5-30 second pauses each to allow for leapfrogging. The machine gun teams will stay further back/advance more slowly so they can provide main infantry-based overwatch. I always plot a point in front of the door I want to enter (and one before that to make sure they approach from the correct direction in relation to the building) and usually give a 5-sec pause there, just in case. I'll use Hunt where I feel that it actually offers benefit. If I can't take a chance on them stopping, I use very close Quick waypoints with pauses.

 

Sometimes, I get a dose of bad luck, but usually, I take light to moderate infantry casualties and my guys do pretty well. Of course, I usually only manage 2-5 turns an hour in Wego (more if nothing is happening/I'm waiting for something like arty), but I don't care about that.

 

So far, in my current scenario, I've taken out two enemy teams that were in ambush building locations with one yellow walking wounded on my side as payment.

 

Absolutely, I'd love to see infantry become the main focus for improvement, both in animations and command/TacAI fidelity to real-life. However, how you use your guys really has a huge impact.

 

Can you show some screen shots of what you are doing with your commands versus what you are getting as a result?

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PERCEIVED ISSUE: The Breaching team in a house assault get slaughtered come in the front door, The 4 man team act stupidly regardless the distance the team is away from the door, they pile in to there death like lemmings. The enemy just needs to be a single automatic weapon guy to take down a full team. The assault team does not halt its attack, does not toss a grenade in, does not do anything but run and die. I would just like to say I hate every stuid the tac Ai does, but I am giving one example above.

 

PERCEIVED SOLUTION:

The assault team stacks at the door, so we do not have 4 separate entries spread over 10 secs. If the team suspects enemy it toss in a grenade before entry, it enters in the door the first few metres in a rush then halts and frees at the enemy it does not run all the way to the end of the house to turn around and come back to first at the enemy at the front door. It the sweeps as a team through the house and stops an fire as a team at contact.

 

The game mechanics can be frustrating when things don’t turn out right.  The AI is far from perfect and can always use some improvement.  One of the biggest challenges is to take our tactical ideas and translate them into commands via the user interface that the AI will understand and follow.  I have found the following tactics will mostly give the desired result in building assaults.

 

First I try not to intentionally enter an OpFor occupied building.  I attempt to drive the occupants out with firepower and would rather, when possible, level the building instead of forcing entry.  But sometimes you have to make a dynamic entry of an occupied building.

 

It is best to have multiple squads split into fire teams.  Under the admin command there is the assault team split.  Make this split.  Then look at this team’s ammo panel in the UI.  You will see that they have most of the squad’s grenades.  Have the remainder of the squad (B Team) area fire into the building as a suppression team.  There should be two or three additional suppression teams also area firing into the building.  All the better if one or more of these teams is a machine gun team.  Watch for the OpFor teams to cower and their return fire dwindle.  This may take three or four minutes.  If they don’t cower (become suppressed) the fire is not enough. 

 

When you get ready to go in if any of your suppression teams have bazookas, rifle grenades, etc. switch those teams to target light so as not to injure your assault team.  Then quick the assault team up to an action spot outside the building.  Pause them in this action spot for about 10 seconds.  They will now make use of those grenades.  When the 10 seconds is up quick them inside the building to close and hose.  Your suppression teams will still be area firing on target light into the building.  They will not injure your troops on target light but it is possible that they might suppress your own troops.  However, at this point, the fight is going to be over with very quickly for better or worse.  I think the advantage is to keep the target light stuff coming.                    

 

Now comes an even more dangerous time for your assault troops.  If there are OpFor troops behind the building or on the other side of a common wall they will now target your assault troops.  And your troops that were providing the suppressive fire will probably not be able to support them in a timely manner.  Another reason I try not to go into occupied buildings.    

 

Also after I own the building I try to have no more than one team per floor.  

 

For movement in woods I often use Hunt with a circular target arc of about 30 meters.  Then they will usually only respond to threats inside the arc and keep advancing.    

 

Hope this gave you some ideas.         

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Good ideas, the one thing I am not doing is the 10 sec pause before entry. Everything else I am doing as much as terrain dictates that I can.

 

Will add that to the command phase perhaps it will save a few pixeltruppen.

 

The easiest way is to bring up vehicles and pound it into the ground, I understand that the game should allow for a squad to do a building entry, without always loosing life.

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Too true. 

 

Unpredictability of infantry behavior is frustrating to say the least. MOUT/FIBUA fights are just painful without vehicles demolishing everything on the advance path and infantry acting simply as an occupying force. Even then, during the mop up stage there are always 3-4 scattered enemy teams with 1 member left that would inflict the most serious casualties by blasting full auto into bunched up breach squads who are blind as mice (something that would be unlikely to happen irl - frontal breach of a building "defended" by single a single scared, shell shocked and possibly wounded crew member with maybe 2 mags of ammo and a frag vs. a fresh veteran engineer squad with the full assortment of breach and assault toys and advanced bodyarmor will usually result in engineers suffering at least 3 serious WIAs, effectively cutting the squad in half). Any sort of quick bounding in urban environments will usually result in serious casualties due to bunching up , stopping randomly, and turning into a human caterpillar after a few suppressing shots (going prone under crossfire contact in an open square seems to make more sense to AI than gunning it for cover  despite a few casualties). 

 

After 8 years of the same frustrations, some kind of even rudimentary infantry close combat behavior revamp would be most welcome, preferably with the visual cues and not just "under the hood" logic processes that only BFC coders fully understand. Make the breach look and feel like a breach basically with the correct and more importantly predictable odds of success where the "Load" button or "Ceasefire" and "Load" to have a peek at where the stragglers are holed up are not factors in planning.  .

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Unpredictability is the nature of combat.  One of the good things about CM is you can try to do something, but there isn't a guarantee ever that doing a particular sequence will always produce the same result.  While there are times I get frustrated with pathing issues, actual combat orders and the TAC AI usually work pretty good.

 


Breach CMBN

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Breach CMSF

Execution003_zps3f4e9826.jpg

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But there should be a significant amount of predictability due to preparation and capabilities. A veteran infantry formation breaching a building held by a green squad or isolated stragglers with 3 to 1 odds should be a straight forward, almost mechanical affair and not the trip to the casino. Loosing 2-5 veteran guys to "recce by dying" against every isolated shooter holed up in a building or some bush seems very excessive. 

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Note that the running animation is also tailored to the terrain type and condition. That's why sometimes it seems the soldiers run on ice, because of the simulation abstraction (it would be a lot of work to add a specific animation for each possible condition mix), tweaking the effective speed leaving the animation alone is much easier.

 

The cowering takes some abstraction, such as a Group of soldiers who are so scared or suppressed that they can't move, even if you think that would be best for them. In fact often they just broke and start running away and that's when they get even more losses. Makes sense to me.

 

About the movement in lines, I belive that the absence of "formations" is mainly due to an engine restriction, the line movement is dictated by the pathfinding of the AI which is linear, having multiple lines would require a lot of re-work I am sure, and I am not even convinced the actual game engine could support that, maybe in the future the grid will be smaller, allowing for more complex soldier pathfindings (and different within a single unit), but that would also require a lot more computer calculations.

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Sashko: In many respects this where I am coming from in an over perspective, but I wanted to nut it down to some of the obvious flaws in my post which cause the mass of casualties.

 

I agree unpredictability is good but there should be a degree of predictability for decent doctrine. Otherwise you might as well do random crap and hope for the best.

 

sburke: My breaches look like the other way around with my men piled in the corner <smile> And the single AI soldier grinning from ear to ear.

 

 

It would make my day if BF jump in here and goes yes we share your concerns and looking to resolve this as out next major task. I understand engine limitations but I feel program wise they can do something to make MOUT a little more realistic.

 

AKA the human centipede is a prime example of troops hitting the deck in the open when there is cover 10 metres away, some code here if cover is 10 feet away run to it and then cower. Whether they last 30 secs cowering in the open or 5 secs in a run, it all the same they are dead in a MOUT battle if anything you prolonging the agony as a player, giving them false hope that maybe will escape but they never do.

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You cannot use hunt cause they, stop, move is just asking to be killed, quick is they are moving too quickly to fire back. It almost you need a new option like assault which allows the 4 team members to suppress while moving forward, or atleast focus on windows and move forward and if the enemy pops up shoot them.

 

Hunt is basically a command for moving cautiously, or until first contact. It's good for scouting, forests, or buildings. 

 

It sounds to me like you're simply not covering your pixeltruppen well enough. Do not charge or attempt to clear enemies from a defensive position unless that position is being suppressed. At least harass it. Even the greenest conscripts can hit something eventually if they're unmolested. 

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Hunt is basically a command for moving cautiously, or until first contact. It's good for scouting, forests, or buildings. 

 

It sounds to me like you're simply not covering your pixeltruppen well enough. Do not charge or attempt to clear enemies from a defensive position unless that position is being suppressed. At least harass it. Even the greenest conscripts can hit something eventually if they're unmolested. 

 

Yeah. It looks that way to me, too. If a good example situation comes up, it would be great if people having trouble could post pics/vid of the situation and how they tried to tackle it.

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This is a CMx2 thing and I had hoped it would get better over time, but sometime the Infantry Tac AI is so frustrating it pulls my hair out.

 

I been a player and holder of CM games from CMx1 to now my latest Black Sea.

 

I absolutely love the vehicle TAC AI even when I do not like what the crew does, it still makes sense, the vehicle become endangered and throws itself into reverse only to get hit from a previous spotted At weapon, still perfectly understandable.

 

But close combat Infantry Tac AI is what I feel lets the game down in the biggest way, I will explain some scenario and what I see and what i would prefer to see.

 

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It seems to me like a lot of your perceived issues could be solved by your making better use of the options built into the engine.  I'm sure other folks will have more comprehensive answers, but I'm waiting for something to compile so I thought I'd throw my X cents in.

 

PERCEIVED ISSUE:Running, I am not sure if it is the animation or they are so very slow but when guys a running they seem to be doing it on ICE, as in lots of movement but very little forward progress, 9 time out of ten they are all on top of each other so it easy for the enemy to get multiple kills. Now the speed may be due to the amount of weight they are carrying but the speed is exactly the same in WW2 where the in very little weight factor.

 

PERCEIVED SOLUTION: What I rather see, is they move in pairs and individuals, with a more open gap between the soldiers, this way they all do not get slaughter like sheep. This could be an extra command like sprint, to get across streets, without loosing a whole 4 man team, because they are all snails without a care when moving.

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The running animations are an engine limitation. If you want to cross a dangerous area while sprinting, use Fast. If you want to do it in small groups according to some scheme that you have which fits the tactical situation... break the unit into small groups according to your own scheme, and do it.  The command system can't read your mind.  If you order a whole unit to run, it's going to run as a unit.  If you want to do it in sections... do it in sections.

 

PERCEIVED ISSUE: Assaulting from a breached corner into a house. To do this you need your 8 man squad to Quick to the breech and then the other team to runs forward into the house, this normal exposed the first team to a hail of fire as the moving into an open area (rubbled wall) which gets them killed then the team racing in like lemming charge in without fire support, goo by 8 man to to a single person with an 8 AK or SMG.

 

PERCEIVED SOLUTION: You can have a number of the team stack on the corner of the wall and support by fire, this has them less exposed, the assault team then breeches.

 

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YOU can stack teams outside the building and support by fire while they breach. It works quite nicely. The Assault command doesn't magically do this for you.

 

PERCEIVED ISSUE: The Breaching team in a house assault get slaughtered come in the front door, The 4 man team act stupidly regardless the distance the team is away from the door, they pile in to there death like lemmings. The enemy just needs to be a single automatic weapon guy to take down a full team. The assault team does not halt its attack, does not toss a grenade in, does not do anything but run and die. I would just like to say I hate every stuid the tac Ai does, but I am giving one example above.

 

PERCEIVED SOLUTION:

The assault team stacks at the door, so we do not have 4 separate entries spread over 10 secs. If the team suspects enemy it toss in a grenade before entry, it enters in the door the first few metres in a rush then halts and frees at the enemy it does not run all the way to the end of the house to turn around and come back to first at the enemy at the front door. It the sweeps as a team through the house and stops an fire as a team at contact.

 

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Again, this is something you can do, as the player. There's not some magic button that tells your infantry to pull off higher-level MOUT tactics without your intervention.  You need to split your units and do this.

 

PERCEIVED ISSUE: Move and then in contact. I prefer to use move sometimes instead of hunt cause I find hunt they stopping all the time on non valid threats that not firing at them, but using move in woods is a pain. If they get ambushed in the wood, the player continues to run and get slaughtered even if it running into the fire.

 

PERCEIVED SOLUTION: If the fire is come from the front, then the move is cancelled and the TAC AI stops and returns fire, before they have to lose a man in the process and start cowering.

 

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If all you care about is the immediate vicinity (and it sounds that way, since you don't want them responding to threats they spot outside the woods), use Hunt with a covered arc. This is literally telling the unit to do exactly what you're talking about.

 

PERCEIVED ISSUES: Cowering, I understand cowering makes sense, but I see cowering out in the open, I seen a whole team cower in the woods, and continually get suppress and eventually killed cause they will not even attempt to return fire. This frustrates me more then anything.

 

PERCEIVED SOLUTION: Blind firing, not to hit the enemy but to suppress back to gain a little morale back, throwing grenades, throwing smoke if they have them. crawling away out of range. I rather this then see each individual solider die one after the other cause they will not do anything but cower.

 

 

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Units return fire and crawl away if they feel they can. If a whole unit is cowering, they're thoroughly suppressed... and they likely can't do those things.  They *might*, but chances are slim.  Move up units to support them, do *something*, because otherwise they very well will "die one after the other".

 

PERCEIVED ISSUES: Hunt in single file, move in single file. All movement is is single file. This allows  for longer time to get set for contact and normally means all you guys end up cowering and picked off one by one.

 

PERCEIVED SOLUTION: Hunt when moving through woods should be in arrowhead or line formation, this would allow return fire on contact, right now it contact and then cower cause they need to run forward and the firing at the pint guy suppresses the rear guys, the time that my guys normally do better is when i am shot from the side, which they happen to be in a line formation.

 

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This is something I'd like to see done.  It's not easy to do, given the scale of pathfinding that we have to do already.

 

There is many more bugbears I have of the Infantry TAC AI, but these are my major ones, and the reason I find this game frustrating. I know there is certain things I could be doing better and I am sure a lot of people will come to the defence I the TAC AI . I am not saying it is super bad, just these things could be improved on. Right now infantry without a huge amount of micro management on building assaults or any assault in general take what I would consider unnecessary losses due to it stupidity, where a normal human would do something different. I would love to see BF spend so more time on this front, rather then more vehicles etc.

 

I would love to spend time on the TacAI too. However, even middling TacAI improvements are a HUGE time investment, and some of them are difficult enough to be impractical in the context and scale of CM's expected simulation. Most of the situations you mention above could be solved (or at least bettered) by using the tools the engine provides.

 

The thing is... everybody has different ideas about what infantry should do.  Every MOUT situation is different.  Trying to write an AI that solves all of these problems is certainly impractical.  Micro-management on the part of the player makes a lot more sense than some enormo-monolithic AI that solves every MOUT problem, ever.  We can add tools and soldier responses to make the experience better, but "magic MOUT button" is not going to happen, nor would it make everyone happy if it did.

 

I'll ask Steve to come along and discuss this from his designer's standpoint, but from a programmer's standpoint this is how it looks.

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Hey Phil. One thing we might do to improve HUNT would be to make it not trigger on nearby friendly fire, especially the HUNTing unit's own fire. This would make it possible to use HUNT in conjunction with suppressive fire in MOUT.

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sburke: I am constantly shaking my head over the infantry TAC AI, so I wish I had some great example but normally its a lone survivor that been hammer by heavy weapons, only to ruin my day and take out a whole squad. I wish i could say I have these nice examples but it normally the AI against me that have wonderful examples of shooting while remain hidden or the "AI that gets the cannot be supressed" and kills off a 4 man team. <smile>

 

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Please do not confuse my breach with explosive breach on walls, I am normally talking a wall that has been breach say by artillery of a tank and the infantry arrives onsite later, your troops are either in cover with no LOS, or in the rubble with full LOS and no cover there is no in between, hedge are not an issue as you can fire through hedges.

 

Half squads I do, but it is a hell a lot of micromanagement and in the end, I end up losing both squads cause a 4 man team get s pinned faster then and 8 man squad or the 8 man squad get s more casualties. The only way to win is my using vehicles to pound targets and move in, but I find thatsilly when trained soldiers should be able to breach and clear a compound to eliminiate a single hiding soldier without losing 8 man, cause of TAC AI silliness.

 

You cannot use hunt cause they, stop, move is just asking to be killed, quick is they are moving too quickly to fire back. It almost you need a new option like assault which allows the 4 team members to suppress while moving forward, or atleast focus on windows and move forward and if the enemy pops up shoot them.

 

I just believe on so many release of BF titles, that this is an area they should focus on, imo it never been right since Shock force and only got marginally better.

 

 

"Urban fighting is a well known limitation. Needs work. Us lay-folk know it. Battlefront knows it. Requires time and resources that's not available at the moment."     I am sorry I don't buy this line anymore with the amount of titles released and being such a known issue, it is something they need to fix before release more titles. It needs to be a priority it is to me a major stick point in the game and really where I see the most frustration in playing Combat mission.

 

If you don't want to split your teams up and micro - the only way to do this properly - give the whole team an area fire target against the building and an Assault move up to the door.  That way, fire will be poured into it by the fire team at the base, the initial assaulting team when it arrives at the door, and the fire team when it moves up.  You could then do the same type of move into the building itself.  Or, you could stop them short of the door and they will use grenades, then move them up.  Lots of ways to do it.

 

Once you are in the building,  use suppression against each floor as you move up.

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Infantry TacAI could definitely use some updating and I'm hoping that it will be the main focus of 4.0 version. The lack of formations and aggressive movement are the biggest flaws of CM games at the moment. Here are my views and opinions gathered from the CMx2 games.

 

In my experience the outcome of clearing buildings is usually quite believable even if it looks like a mess at low level. One man taking out several squad members isn't impossible in real life (and rarely happens in the game in my experience), all the defender has to do is sit in a corner, keep the gun pointed at the door and pull the trigger when he sees movement, if hardly matters who's green and who's veteran at that moment. I don't think regular military forces usually carry flashbangs or offensive hand grenades that could be used to make room clearing less messy business and nothing would prevent the defenders from using those either. If you aren't ready to lose guys in house clearing you'll just have to level the house.

 

The biggest issue I have with close quarters combat in CM is the lack of proper movement command for it: when using quick the soldiers are not looking around and are likely to rush into fire until they are so badly pinned that they start retreating, when using hunt the movement is too slow and soldiers are too likely to be disturbed by nearby shooting and explosions (it just doesn't work with we-go), assault usually works nicely but it's essentially just quick movement with less eggs in the same basket. The needed movement mode in my opinion would be soldiers moving at speed between walk and quick (think ARMA 3 'tactical pace'), stopping only to fire on enemies that appear inside target arc (trying to ignore explosions/fire coming from outside the target arc) and then continue moving, it would be optimal for both house clearing and moving in forest in the immediate vicinity of enemy. Shooting on the move would also be really useful but I'd imagine that could be some pretty big engine limitation since it still isn't in the game.

 

Move and quick orders usually work great but AI should have better judgement when enemy opens fire from close range, especially from ahead of the moving team. In one mission I had a squad moving over small forest opening when enemy started shooting at them from about 20-30 meters ahead of them, instead of stopping and firing back or retreating into cover they just changed their speed from move to quick and tried to jog against the enemy fire until they were pinned down and started crawling away few seconds later. Also while covering is perfectly good reaction when in cover or when being attacked from far away, the AI is too likely to try and "cover" under direct fire from close range in completely open terrain (like roads and such) and indoors instead of rushing for proper cover of firing back, it's just very inhumane reaction and goes completely against fight-or-flight reflexes that should kick in in those situations.

 

Another small things that could be fixed: Assault should also be made available for any unit with two or more men. I guess that's part of how the engine handles teams and action squares but that's what the engine updates are for.

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It seems to me like a lot of your perceived issues could be solved by your making better use of the options built into the engine.  I'm sure other folks will have more comprehensive answers, but I'm waiting for something to compile so I thought I'd throw my X cents in.

 

 

The running animations are an engine limitation. If you want to cross a dangerous area while sprinting, use Fast. If you want to do it in small groups according to some scheme that you have which fits the tactical situation... break the unit into small groups according to your own scheme, and do it.  The command system can't read your mind.  If you order a whole unit to run, it's going to run as a unit.  If you want to do it in sections... do it in sections.

 

 

YOU can stack teams outside the building and support by fire while they breach. It works quite nicely. The Assault command doesn't magically do this for you.

 

Again, this is something you can do, as the player. There's not some magic button that tells your infantry to pull off higher-level MOUT tactics without your intervention.  You need to split your units and do this.

 

If all you care about is the immediate vicinity (and it sounds that way, since you don't want them responding to threats they spot outside the woods), use Hunt with a covered arc. This is literally telling the unit to do exactly what you're talking about.

 

Units return fire and crawl away if they feel they can. If a whole unit is cowering, they're thoroughly suppressed... and they likely can't do those things.  They *might*, but chances are slim.  Move up units to support them, do *something*, because otherwise they very well will "die one after the other".

 

 

This is something I'd like to see done.  It's not easy to do, given the scale of pathfinding that we have to do already.

 

 

I would love to spend time on the TacAI too. However, even middling TacAI improvements are a HUGE time investment, and some of them are difficult enough to be impractical in the context and scale of CM's expected simulation. Most of the situations you mention above could be solved (or at least bettered) by using the tools the engine provides.

 

The thing is... everybody has different ideas about what infantry should do.  Every MOUT situation is different.  Trying to write an AI that solves all of these problems is certainly impractical.  Micro-management on the part of the player makes a lot more sense than some enormo-monolithic AI that solves every MOUT problem, ever.  We can add tools and soldier responses to make the experience better, but "magic MOUT button" is not going to happen, nor would it make everyone happy if it did.

 

I'll ask Steve to come along and discuss this from his designer's standpoint, but from a programmer's standpoint this is how it looks.

 

I really appreciated your time in responding to this. I am not new to CM, so much I what you say I do know or understand, however I feel the TAC AI never works out like that.

 

I find my guys get suppressed on first contact, from another enemy team. Perhaps due to the woods close nature, there suppression is almost instant. I play WeGO, I do have support units, but sometimes the viewing range take a while before they are in action by this time, I am taking even more causality. Even with target suppression of the area. however I do feel the squad very rarely fires back and most in a fire fight in the woods defenders just win. In CMx1 due to abstraction this was not always the case. I just find the troops perhaps should have more fight in them, even if it requires blind grenade throwing or something then hugging the ground after contact for 30 seconds to a minute.

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- I did use last night the pause command outside the house and then move into a building it seemed to work a bit better, so will include this is my standard breach.

 

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I think also the closeness of the troops suppresses the 4 man team or an 8 man team, realistically they would have a little more spacing. Example I moved a 4 man team to get some eyes on a building which I knew had the enemy, it was about 150 metre away.

 

The building people of course spot my troops first, no I never move to the edge just enough to get target on the building. They instantly come under fire (I guess I could of done slow) but I thought hunt was being careful like slow, I think there is no difference between move and hunt on spotting. I had bad experiences with slow when moving to a spot, they keep crawling until they go suppressed and die.

 

Anyway they never fire back at the building which fire is coming from, they just lay there for 40 seconds and get chewed at taking casualties. It is not until I get a new turn that I set the building on target so they fire back. 

 

My other team not more then 20 meters away cannot spot the enemy but can see the tracer rounds but not the enemy and do nothing.

 

This type of scenario is not unusual, this is regular occurrence how the TAC AI could be improved. I do understand it a huge undertaking but I do think it can be improved.

 

I thank you for your time and effort in reading this and your effort in programming such a unique and great game.

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Yea, the tac ai on the infantry side definitely has some issues.

 

Personally I'm hoping for three things: SOPs, a nerf to automatic weapons, and a order that prioritized shooting over running.

 

SOP commands would make the tac ai infinitely more flexible and most of all! Stop the suicide train.

 

Right now automatic weapons are unrealistically effective. Because the units are so bunched up it is very easy for a burst to kill 50% or more of a squad.

 

Some sort of order that prioritizes shooting over moving, likemvp7 said, would also be a boon.

 

 

Re. The Assault Command.

 

The current assault command horrible. Both elements share the same morale so anyone heavy fire on the bounding unit will suppress the overwatch elemtn, the bound is often too large or through intervening terrain, it is an exhausting command, and it exposes the overwatch team to over shoot fire from enemies to the front. Splitting elements and  using pauses with quick or fast is infinitely more useful.

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Right now automatic weapons are unrealistically effective. Because the units are so bunched up it is very easy for a burst to kill 50% or more of a squad.

 

This has more to do with the weapons modeling than bunching up. Automatic weapons and unstabilized automatic weapons in particular are too accurate when fired rapidly.

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