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AFVs overrunning


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Does anyone remember the "Close Combat" Microsoft computer game series in the 1990's?  In that game, you could drive your AFVs and heavy vehicles over soldiers and kill them. It was a tactic that was important in....close combat!

 

I always wondered why you cannot do this in CM?  I played a battle not long ago, and my monster Jagdpanther was counterattacking through smoke. It ended up moving through and onto the enemy soldiers, who just laid there casually and lobbed grenades until the TD was immobilised and then destroyed. It was really lame. Normally those infantry would have been crushed or running in terror.

 

Has there ever been any discussion about this?  I, for one, would like to see this implemented so that an AFV in close combat can be a deadly thing

 

Cheers

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Probably the same reason BF declined to add hand-to-hand fighting. What goes on in close quarters is already abstractly depicted and these specific things are too rare and too much hassle to add. I'd imagine soldiers are pretty good at avoiding getting squished. Though I do recall a German tactics training video showing deliberate overrun attacks against infantry in trenches.

 

H2H was a bit too common in the CC series. That game was pretty wonky.

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Tank terror was common in 1939-1940. But by 1944, I think the tank is the one with more cause to be afraid than the infantry when it comes to close encounters. Unless the tank is an M4A3E8 with Fury on the barrel :D

 

Yes Bud, that movie ending was as outlandish as they come!

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Probably the same reason BF declined to add hand-to-hand fighting. What goes on in close quarters is already abstractly depicted and these specific things are too rare and too much hassle to add. I'd imagine soldiers are pretty good at avoiding getting squished. Though I do recall a German tactics training video showing deliberate overrun attacks against infantry in trenches.

 

H2H was a bit too common in the CC series. That game was pretty wonky.

 

 

Yes that game was wonky, but like the SL/ASL boardgames, it provided a means for an AFV to conduct an up close and personal overrun....with my CM example listed above (and many others) there just doesn't seem to be a good solution for that event happening

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My impression is the main reason for not doing that is there is no true collision detection in the code.  This is very heavy speculation on my part and does not come from any place official. 

 

You will notice that your soldiers do try to go around tanks both operational and destroyed but they don't make it a life and death priority.  They do a pretty good job of going around stationary tanks but a piss poor job on moving tanks (although they do try a bit).  Tanks on the other hand don't care much about infantry and just go.  They do make some effort to go around vehicle obstacles so some logic is in there for the avoidance part.  But you will notice that there is plenty of merging and ghost like passing though other soldiers and vehicles.  To make it so that vehicles try to not run over their own and soldiers and have soldiers avoid getting run over like their lives depended on it would probably take quite a bit of effort.  All that would have to happen before driving over the enemy to kill them would be possible otherwise this place would be flooded with "those damn tanks kill my guys again" posts.

 

Although I suppose they could do it like small arms friendly fire and have it only be fatal for the enemy troops.  But even that would need the "soldiers avoid tanks like their lives depended on it" part of the work.

 

As for enemy troops trying to get away form tanks - yeah I could see that being a good idea. Except they would have to be careful how they implemented that because if they are not careful then you could not close assault enemy tanks. 

 

So you can see the sweater unravelling there just to make it so tanks can crush the enemy.  I think that the benefit to the game vs amount of work ratio is in favour of putting it on the nice to do list and not the priority list.

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And before you say "but not allowing close assaulting tanks would be a good thing cause they shouldn't be doing that now".  I will vehemently disagree: Frankly speaking, having infantry close assault tanks is one of the most important things in this game.  You may ask "is he nuts" (possibly) but it is about balance - regardless of how you feel about the accuracy of close assaulting you have to admit its presence in the game makes you want to avoid crashing around the enemy lines with your tanks.  I was reminded of this recently when an opponent did just that.  It was hair raising and scary and two tanks killed a lot of my men.  It was brutal.  But I managed to stop it eventually by close assaulting the tanks from the rear.  And that was more a case of his tanks got ahead of his infantry rather than some gamey action.  Can you imagine if tanks could not be close assaulted at all?  And enemy troops ran away whenever one came near?  I'll tell you what would happen people would drive tanks around with impunity all over the map.  Yeah I realize not everyone would do that but hey there would be no disincentive.  Or not a big enough one.

 

Heck I just did it in another game: clock was running out one of the objectives was just ahead but out of reach to really take it over.  But I had a Royal Tiger just out of PIAT range if I just moved him forward 100m or so ahead of my infantry I could deny him the objective.  OK I'll do it.  It is worth the risk.  Gamey bastard I know.  But guess what - close assaulted with a demo charge - scratch one Royal Tiger. Good I deserved that!  Turns out there is extra time so I may yet get my infantry forward enough to get a toe hold on the objective.

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Ian, I totally agree with close assaulting a tank...100%.  But, obviously, I am also in favour of a tank close assaulting infantry or light vehicles like jeeps or trucks.  Whether that can be done or not in computer terms, I really have no clue. It's just something that I have noticed that is missing from the game...much like western force tank riders, or Wasps, ahem.

 

No collision detection in the code explains a lot. I have no skills in computer jargon and code, etc, so I need guys like you to spell this out for me :)

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As for enemy troops trying to get away form tanks - yeah I could see that being a good idea. Except they would have to be careful how they implemented that because if they are not careful then you could not close assault enemy tanks. 

 

 

It would just work like this: If a tank moves into the actual square containing enemy infantry, the troops should evade (a bit like the way they fall back while under fire). So you could still assault tanks, as there would be nothing to stop you from moving your infantry into the square of the enemy tank. And in any case, you don't need to get that close to assault anyway.

 

Could it be exploited by gamey bastards? I don't think so.

 

Deliberately trying to rush enemy infantry would be a huge gamble, as the tank would still be a prime target on the approach, a single soldier with a panzerfaust or bazooka would ruin your day. So you could only do it in case you were 100% sure there was no AT present, in which case your tank would have taken the position anyway.

 

And even if there are no dedicated AT weapons, you still don't know if there might be another enemy team or single soldier lurking unseen nearby, ready to throw grenades/assault as the tank passes him by. I don't think anyone would exploit this.

Edited by Bulletpoint
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CM, like ASL, gives infantry without special AT weapons a realistic and needed fighting chance against AFVs that come close.

 

Remember, in ASL, an unpinned squad stacked with a single-man-counter had a 50% chance of taking out any AFV in close combat, and would get an ambush bonus on top of that if it was a street-fighting situation.

 

Likewise, infantry being overrun by an AFV that survived the overrun and passed a moral check could attack with similar odds.

 

This was at approximately 40 meters of range or less.

 

The current CM system feels pretty similar in terms of effect. I would not in any way water down infantry's current close assault ability, though I'm open-minded about adding enhanced action/realism on top of it.

Edited by Macisle
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I'd imagine ( also speculation based on nothing at all ), that the lack of infantry/tank collision detection and reaction is based on the CPU cycles it could use up.

 

Every time something moved, the game would have to check for such an interaction and then initiate TacAI behaviour for it if it's there.

Remember, Computer AI doesn't inherently know anything, it has to check lists or tables of what's where.

 

In this case, it's not just a case of a bullet/shell intersecting a man/vehicle, but it has to check what might be where a vehicle is moving to - and then initiate avoiding action. For friendlies - does the vehicle take avoiding action, or the men ? For enemies, does the infantry try to get out of the way or assault - does the vehicle want to overrun ? etc.

Tie this up with who spots what and when and I'm sure you can see the ramifications.

For all the times it might make a difference in a battle ( likely not that many - cf close assaults ), there would be all the times your framerate is in the toilet.

IMO.

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I seem to remember Steve saying the lack of collision avoidance is so the AI isn't gimped even further by crazy "No, after you" infinite cycles. Getting multiple vehicles through gaps is hard enough for the poor thing. Can you imagine how hard it would be if there were infantry trying to get through too? I know that's primarily a same-side problem, but you'd have to have collision avoidance be a possibility in Red-on-Blue (and vice versa) potential collision situations too, since there would conceivably be times when the infantry would be able to get away from the onrushing vehicle.

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