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How I view most scenarios and the designers...


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Hmm. Instant resort to ad hominem attack, plus entirely fanciful assertion that I have spent significant time commenting on your posts seems... faintly familiar. Mr. Tittles, is that you?

A number of revamped CMSF2 scenario briefings did get condensed to be more concise. I'm one of those who get intimidated by 'wall of text' orders, myself. Other orders got expanded. The purpose of ord

For purposes of my argument below I'm defining the following terms as: Tools - Units given the player to fight the engagement. Parameters - Map size, time limits, objectives etc, the variabl

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Maybe set a Blue reinforcement to the same exact time, with a single Spy or similar and the message "Don't mess with my scenarios!".  :P

TBH in many of my scenarios you will have guys popping up on your side too, in the case of Ashsh al-Dababir, about two dozen assorted US & NATO HQ units would appear in a single building in a corner of the map.  :rolleyes:

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead
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And some need "they are definitely not the brightest bulbs in the box" refreshers. He once told me to name myself St. Mattis so I named him St. . Its some sort if inside-joke but every intelligent person could guess it by context of the last two posts between us  but this requires what? Exactly, proper reading and not just casually pick up a one-liner in the middle of a thread while watching a funny sloth fail compilation but then decide to jump onto it and make yourself look like a sloth. If you have absolutely no clue what is going on its simply better to stay away from that keyboard. Also keep in mind reading->thinking->writing and not the opposite way. Amen.

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29 minutes ago, Swervin11b said:

I’m perhaps not understanding the “morale ballast” concept correctly..

If the AI surrenders too quickly, doesn’t that mean the player stomped them and should win? 

 

Yes … but … no.

The AI will auto surrender at something around the 40% remaining mark which many players find irritating (search 'time limit' or similar for threads ad nauseum about it). In scenarios with UNCONs, it is not realistic to pack the map with heaps of units so to have the thing look realistic but prevent an early auto surrender, designers use reinforcements on the UNCON (in this case) side which have a scheduled arrival time after the mission ends. As these 'reinforcements' do not arrive and cannot be killed the on-map forces can take quite a pasting before auto surrender is triggered.

There are many circumstances in which this trick can be used and whether the designer employs it or not will depend on what they are trying to achieve with the mission. One of the more obvious examples being a mission where Blue has victory conditions related to their own force preservation, minimising collateral damage, neutralising specific targets.

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39 minutes ago, Swervin11b said:

I’m perhaps not understanding the “morale ballast” concept correctly..

If the AI surrenders too quickly, doesn’t that mean the player stomped them and should win? 

 

Generalized but: If the AI has a total force of 100 men and you kill 80 of them, it will surrender. If the AI has a total force of 1000 men but 900 of them are off map reinforcements, and you kill 80 men of the 100 on the field, the AI will not surrender because it still thinks it has a total force of 920 men left. Thats the morale ballast some are referring to. Its basically just a way to trick the AI into not surrendering too early. Especially useful in COIN scenario's where the enemy may only have 20 men or so and the scenario designer doesn't want the AI to surrender after it loses the first firefight. 

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I'm just getting warmed up to the idea of developing a scenario, so forgive my lack of knowledge. Instead of creating a band aid ("morale ballast") to prevent early surrender, why not just have the various troop qualities better reflect a realistic surrender threshold? So instead of having to create some kind of off-map spirit leader that keeps them in the fight, they can rely on their own troop quality (ie., green troops panic and surrender at X value, veteran troops at Y value, fanatics at Z value).

Money no option. . .  I think I'd be far more realistic to have an exit map edge for an AI. If a combination of their morale and their command structure falls below a certain threshold, and X number of objectives are in control of the player, they make a bee-line for the exit. If they come under fire in the process of doing that, then they stand a higher chance of surrender. Alternatively, the en masse surrender feature could be removed and replaced with individual surrenders only. The verdict will be apparent at the end of the scenario or if the player elects to cease fire.

 

Edited by WriterJWA
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1 hour ago, WriterJWA said:

I'm just getting warmed up to the idea of developing a scenario, so forgive my lack of knowledge. Instead of creating a band aid ("morale ballast") to prevent early surrender, why not just have the various troop qualities better reflect a realistic surrender threshold? So instead of having to create some kind of off-map spirit leader that keeps them in the fight, they can rely on their own troop quality (ie., green troops panic and surrender at X value, veteran troops at Y value, fanatics at Z value).

 

I believe you talking about two different things, each of which is already present in the game. The entire enemy force will surrender when a certain set of conditions has been met. I am not sure exactly what the level is but lets go with 45%.  If we assume the enemy has 100 men, once 45 of them have been KIA or WIA, the battle is over, the enemy surrenders to your awesome playing skills. It doesn't matter if they are green or elite, low or fanatic motivation, once 45% are casualties, the battle is over. The morale ballast is used for the situations where you want those 100 men to fight to the last man, no matter what. A good example would be a delaying force, left in place to slow the enemy down in a suicide mission. Without the morale ballast, they would quit the fight after losing 45 of the 100 men. Yet in this situation, the remaining 60 enemy troops could still cause a significant threat to your men. So a morale ballast of 1000 men is added to arrive on the 4 hour mark, ensuring those 100 men will fight to the very last man.

The second part is the individual troops themselves. The can and do surrender if they are cut off from their parent unit, surrounded and facing overwhelming incoming fire. Here, experience and motivation play a significant role. Elite fanatics will fight to the last man, to the last bullet, to the last breath in their lungs. Poorly motivated conscripts on the other hand will surrender, throw down their weapons and raise their hands in the air, rather quickly if cut off and surrounded. Depending on the situation you wish to depict in your scenario, choosing the appropriate troop quality will play a very important part of the battle.

1 hour ago, WriterJWA said:

Money no option. . .  I think I'd be far more realistic to have an exit map edge for an AI. If a combination of their morale and their command structure falls below a certain threshold, and X number of objectives are in control of the player, they make a bee-line for the exit. If they come under fire in the process of doing that, then they stand a higher chance of surrender. Alternatively, the en masse surrender feature could be removed and replaced with individual surrenders only. The verdict will be apparent at the end of the scenario or if the player elects to cease fire.

 

What you are suggesting here is possible to setup using terrain triggers. Set the AI plans to have the enemy troops keep pulling back every time your men reach a certain area of the map. Once the last terrain trigger has been tripped and you wish the enemy force to withdraw, set an AI movement point for the exit zone.  As more and more of your men leave the map, there will be a greater chance of individual units being cut off and surrendering. From a points perspective, the enemy force could be given a friendly casualties threshold. As the men retreat and exit the map, they will stay alive and earn points. If the player has points attached to how many casualties they cause, each man who exits will deny the player points. Again, the only way to prevent the mass surrender is to have the morale ballast, which will in turn allow for more opportunities for individuals to surrender.

If you would like to see the following in action, shoot me a PM and I will set up a battle to show you how it works. 

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Yup.....What he said.  :)

CM is a very quirky game, a lot of very talented people have developed a bunch of techniques over the years to maximise its look, feel & performance.....If you want to try reinventing the wheel, be my guest (FWIW, I did too when I first started out, but then I got some really good advice, from people who had been doing this a lot longer).  ;)

To take your idea above.....It all sounds perfectly rational until you discover how many Objectives & AI Groups you used, plus all those AI scripts you wrote, in an attempt to save yourself using up one reinforcement slot (only for it not to work because the behaviour of individual units and the AI force as a whole are not directly related in this area, as explained above).  :blink:

If you get started with a scenario and want to bounce ideas, ping me a PM.  B)

PS - Typically you will waste one reinforcement slot anyway, dumping surplus units that can't be deleted in the editor (HQs as a rule), so dumping a few more units into the same slot, to beef up morale, has a certain elegance IMHO. 

PPS - See.....We've already saved you hours of frustrating scripting!  :P

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead
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22 hours ago, Mattis said:

And some need "they are definitely not the brightest bulbs in the box" refreshers. He once told me to name myself St. Mattis so I named him St. . Its some sort if inside-joke but every intelligent person could guess it by context of the last two posts between us  but this requires what? Exactly, proper reading and not just casually pick up a one-liner in the middle of a thread while watching a funny sloth fail compilation but then decide to jump onto it and make yourself look like a sloth. If you have absolutely no clue what is going on its simply better to stay away from that keyboard. Also keep in mind reading->thinking->writing and not the opposite way. Amen.

Got quite the aggressive keyboard diarrhea yourself, bud. 

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13 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Yup.....What he said.  :)

CM is a very quirky game, a lot of very talented people have developed a bunch of techniques over the years to maximise its look, feel & performance.....If you want to try reinventing the wheel, be my guest (FWIW, I did too when I first started out, but then I got some really good advice, from people who had been doing this a lot longer).  ;)

To take your idea above.....It all sounds perfectly rational until you discover how many Objectives & AI Groups you used, plus all those AI scripts you wrote, in an attempt to save yourself using up one reinforcement slot (only for it not to work because the behaviour of individual units and the AI force as a whole are not directly related in this area, as explained above).  :blink:

If you get started with a scenario and want to bounce ideas, ping me a PM.  B)

PS - Typically you will waste one reinforcement slot anyway, dumping surplus units that can't be deleted in the editor (HQs as a rule), so dumping a few more units into the same slot, to beef up morale, has a certain elegance IMHO. 

PPS - See.....We've already saved you hours of frustrating scripting!  :P

This is a good idea. +1

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17 hours ago, IICptMillerII said:

Especially useful in COIN scenario's where the enemy may only have 20 men or so and the scenario designer doesn't want the AI to surrender after it loses the first firefight. 

Very well put.

Also good for Last Stand type fights. I've a Urban map in my head for Human v fanatical AI. Only possible with that ballast. 

@Sgt.SquareheadI haven't had the pleasure of your Mosul map but I assume you're using this approach to maximise the AIs "tenacity". 

Edited by kinophile
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Yep, they're heavily loaded.....If you read through accounts of the fighting in Mosul during November & December 2016 (the period covered in my scenarios to date), you'll note that mass ISIS surrenders are rather thin on the ground.  ;)

VBIED attacks, booby-trapped buildings, civilian human-shields etc. etc. on the other hand.....:P

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7 hours ago, kinophile said:

Very well put.

Also good for Last Stand type fights. I've a Urban map in my head for Human v fanatical AI. Only possible with that ballast. 

@Sgt.SquareheadI haven't had the pleasure of your Mosul map but I assume you're using this approach to maximise the AIs "tenacity". 

You could say that - I tested the first scenario and smashed the sh1t out of the place and as they say in Ulster 'No Surrender'.

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On 12/20/2018 at 2:21 AM, WriterJWA said:

I'm just getting warmed up to the idea of developing a scenario, so forgive my lack of knowledge. Instead of creating a band aid ("morale ballast") to prevent early surrender, why not just have the various troop qualities better reflect a realistic surrender threshold? So instead of having to create some kind of off-map spirit leader that keeps them in the fight, they can rely on their own troop quality (ie., green troops panic and surrender at X value, veteran troops at Y value, fanatics at Z value).

A simpler option would be to just give the scenario designer the option of choosing the percent of damage you need to cause to make the enemy surrender.

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1 hour ago, Bulletpoint said:

A simpler option would be to just give the scenario designer the option of choosing the percent of damage you need to cause to make the enemy surrender.

It would but I suspect there would be a knock-on effect for QBs. I won't deny that it is annoying because the surrender ballast reinforcement trick can't be used for longer scenarios and therefore a designer controlled threshold would give more scope but overall I do understand the underpinning intent of having a surrender trigger.

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Iraqi forces retaking Mosul were in no mood to accept surrenders anyway. I'm reminded of Polish forces fighting under the British in Normandy. They had no mercy for anyone wearing anything resembling an SS uniform, which had unfortunate consequences for captured German tankers in their black uniforms.

Off-map forces to stop auto-surrender are important in 'objective capture' scenarios. Those times when it doesn't matter if the enemy is broken or not, all you want to do is end the game with your forces sitting on the objective. The opposite is where you have no concern over objectives, all you want to do is break the enemy.

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