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Can't trust plotted paths at all !?


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Yes, I'm sticking with the game; it's the best I've ever found. I fact, I just purchased FB, but still, seriously ('xcuse the language)...WTF!?

I very carefully and deliberately plotted a path for this jeep and towed ATG round the back of the building, using the wall as cover, and mindful that it was, potentially a narrow gap, even though it appeared to be a 'hex' size in width. I hovered the mouse over the area to see if there would be any point at which it would say "No can do." Never said a word. Then, as you can see, it drives up to the gap and then turns away. It ended up driving right into the open crossroads...you probably don't need to guess too hard what the inevitable outcome was 😠 !

Is it really not possible for the game to do a better (proper?) job of telling us that a plotted path isn't workable?

On a more calm note - suggestions how this should/could have been done? I presume dismounting the ATG behind the building and having them push it through the gap, but how do we know that would not have been a problem? Quite sure I'm not the first to come across this. In fact, I already posted about a similar issue, but what remedies have folks found in such situations?

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I feel your pain.  I can't really tell from the screen shot, but the game does have some vehicle pathing issues for buildings at a 45 degree angle (as opposed to straight north south cardinal directions when looking at the 2D map in the editor).  Your compass in the screen shot seems to indicate that everything is at a 45 degree angle, but I'm not certain because you may be looking at a 45 degree angle and buildings are at cardinal directions. 

For example, you can put a road down an angled street with buildings along each side and then find that you can't drive anything down said road.  The gap between obstacles basically has to be a full 'action spot' in order to be sure that a vehicle will pass through a gap.  The unfortunate part is that you can place buildings, walls, and other things such that they will only be half an 'action spot' wide and it will block movement and the game won't even tell you that the path is obstructed (although if the building is facing the cardinal directions the game works better with smaller gaps).  The only way to know is when it happens (as you found out).  So once again, I don't know what map that is or if the building is diagonal vs a cardinal direction, but if they are then likely the gap is not a full action spot in width and so your jeep was blocked.  The person who makes the map isn't going to know either unless they drive something through there or know about the 'issue' and can remember to adjust for it.  My only advice would be that if you are thinking of a move like that, check the direction the building facades are facing.  If the building facade doesn't face the cardinal directions then you should probably be cautious when attempting to pass through a gap near a building. 

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1 minute ago, ASL Veteran said:

I feel your pain.  I can't really tell from the screen shot, but the game does have some vehicle pathing issues for buildings at a 45 degree angle (as opposed to straight north south cardinal directions when looking at the 2D map in the editor).  Your compass in the screen shot seems to indicate that everything is at a 45 degree angle, but I'm not certain because you may be looking at a 45 degree angle and buildings are at cardinal directions. 

For example, you can put a road down an angled street with buildings along each side and then find that you can't drive anything down said road.  The gap between obstacles basically has to be a full 'action spot' in order to be sure that a vehicle will pass through a gap.  The unfortunate part is that you can place buildings, walls, and other things such that they will only be half an 'action spot' wide and it will block movement and the game won't even tell you that the path is obstructed (although if the building is facing the cardinal directions the game works better with smaller gaps).  The only way to know is when it happens (as you found out).  So once again, I don't know what map that is or if the building is diagonal vs a cardinal direction, but if they are then likely the gap is not a full action spot in width and so your jeep was blocked.  The person who makes the map isn't going to know either unless they drive something through there or know about the 'issue' and can remember to adjust for it.  My only advice would be that if you are thinking of a move like that, check the direction the building facades are facing.  If the building facade doesn't face the cardinal directions then you should probably be cautious when attempting to pass through a gap near a building. 

Good info, thanks. The map is Lonsdale's Block. The confusion is further exacerbated by the fact that infantry will pass just fine through the gap. Surely it is fixable though by 'simply' having the system run a test on the path as one plots it. This has been the one real drawback of this game that I've come across, and it is a big one. Against the AI, I would simply say "Up yours!" and replay the turn accordingly, but of course not possible in MP. Again, it does seem like the game system could be made to vet plotted paths at the time, and from what I've seen in just the few, short months I've been playing this, that would be a major improvement/fix.

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@RMM I can only hope that happens when we're playing 😉.  So FB is go...

I've had lots of moments thinking 'why won't you go where I was allowed to send you to' so I have a lot of sympathy too. If it's down to soft factors fair enough but as you show, it's not always down to that.

And I agree, this game is the best.  Okay, the best that we've ever found 😁.

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3 minutes ago, Vacilllator said:

@RMM I can only hope that happens when we're playing 😉.  So FB is go...

I've had lots of moments thinking 'why won't you go where I was allowed to send you to' so I have a lot of sympathy too. If it's down to soft factors fair enough but as you show, it's not always down to that.

And I agree, this game is the best.  Okay, the best that we've ever found 😁.

Hiya. Still waiting for the sale to 'process' so that I can download FB. Last time too about 4 days, but should be ready soon enough :)

Suppose I could switch to Steam. Not sure if the purchases work quicker there...

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1 minute ago, RMM said:

Hiya. Still waiting for the sale to 'process' so that I can download FB. Last time too about 4 days, but should be ready soon enough :)

Suppose I could switch to Steam. Not sure if the purchases work quicker there...

4 days is longer than I've experienced, so hopefully quicker.  Steam is okay, but not for WW2 titles yet.

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Well I don't pretend to know how complicated it would be, but it's been like this forever ... I'm sure if it could be fixed it would be.  It seems like, for whatever reason, buildings just tend to have an invisible footprint inside an action spot when placed at the diagonal - at least for vehicles.  A footprint beyond what you can see visually 3D or even what's represented in the 2D map editor.  I've been bit by that on occasion in the past and it's aggravating.  If you catch it you can adjust the map accordingly, but that's not always going to be possible to catch that sort of stuff if you have a big map.  I spent hours on the Hot Time In Hatten map only to find out that I couldn't drive anything down the main road through Hatten!!  Eventually I was able to fix it by adjusting the building spacing, but it can be hard to detect even when you are making the map.  Infantry can't body up to a fence at a T or + intersection, but I think that shows as prohibited terrain when you try to move them up to the fence (although I can't be sure as it's been a while since I've tried that)

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33 minutes ago, Bulletpoint said:

Many such issues in the game. Soimetimes you can't even drive on a literal road if there are buildings on the side of it. Sometimes you can, but only from one direction, not from the other.

But at least a pre-plotting function in the game, while we are laying down these order paths would catch that. That would be a lot less upsetting than not discovering the problem until the units are actually moving!

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31 minutes ago, Vacilllator said:

Crossing bridges with a convoy of vehicles is always fun too, but that's a different matter.

Ohhh for sure. Came across that the other day! I saw someone suggest a convoy move order that could mitigate at least the worst of that though.

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1 hour ago, Vacilllator said:

4 days is longer than I've experienced, so hopefully quicker.  Steam is okay, but not for WW2 titles yet.

True.  Plus, Steam takes their cut so BFC should get more if you buy directly.  With direct purchases you can still get a Steam key via the Matrix/Slitherine store.

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6 minutes ago, Jabble said:

True.  Plus, Steam takes their cut so BFC should get more if you buy directly.  With direct purchases you can still get a Steam key via the Matrix/Slitherine store.

It's an odd experience for purchasing online downloads though. I've never had to wait a couple of says for the download. Usually, as soon as it's paid for, it can be downloaded. Weird.

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2 minutes ago, RMM said:

It's an odd experience for purchasing online downloads though. I've never had to wait a couple of says for the download. Usually, as soon as it's paid for, it can be downloaded. Weird.

Maybe the hamster needs to be fed before using its treadmill to power the back-end payment system.

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Been a problem for years unfortunately. The game needs a "path forecaster" tool of some kind to more precisely show what you're going to get from what you lay down. At the very least a wall/door highlighter of some kind would be extremely useful for avoiding some entirely avoidable pathing snafus. 

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1 minute ago, SimpleSimon said:

Been a problem for years unfortunately. The game needs a "path forecaster" tool of some kind to more precisely show what you're going to get from what you lay down. At the very least a wall/door highlighter of some kind would be extremely useful for avoiding some entirely avoidable pathing snafus. 

Yes. As I wrote, and have added to Engine 5 wishlist - the game should vet our plots as we order them. I think the delays that might be caused by it's having to crunch that info at the time of the orders being issued would be a much better, much better situation than finding out only when a game gets utterly ruined!

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20 minutes ago, RMM said:

Yes. As I wrote, and have added to Engine 5 wishlist - the game should vet our plots as we order them. I think the delays that might be caused by it's having to crunch that info at the time of the orders being issued would be a much better, much better situation than finding out only when a game gets utterly ruined!

At the very least there could be a 'verify' utility after a path has been plotted, alerting the player to anything that ends up different from intended.  If this is a specific command then it won't affect the performance at path issuing time.

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You have some good answers. Well not good but truthful. You get better at figuring out what is going to cause trouble and what is not as you play. But at a cost of some moments like what you have just experienced.

The solution we really need is one of more of 1) show a no move cursor as you hover over gaps so you know and 2) have a better WISIWIG for gaps.

The stated request for a path preview is not likely easy (it requires full calculation of movement) and can turn out to be wrong too. Here is what I mean by it can be "wrong": movement in the game works by having a unit calculate the path to the next way point when it gets to the end of its current move order. This is important because units calculate their next movement path based on the reality at that moment not the reality at the beginning of the turn.

Let's take your situation as an example. Had you known the gap was not wide enough or there was no gap at all but you had engineers or a tank who could breach or destroy the wall you can accomplish what you want in one turn and not two. You order the engineers up to the wall and give them a blast command through it. You also order your jeep towing the AT gun to dive towards the wall making sure to have a way point on its side of the wall and one on the other right where the gap is going to be, then into position behind the house. Issue a pause command for the jeep so it only reaches the wall after the engineers are done blasting. Engineers usually take 15s to breach a wall like this if no one is shooting at them. Give your jeep more time than that.  When the minute starts the jeep will be waiting and the engineers will be busy hiding (yeah they aren't hiding they are setting the charge but for some reason the game lists them as hiding while they do that) next the blast will go off and the wall will be breached. Then the jeep will start driving toward the wall. Because the path to the next way point on the other side of the wall will be calculated when the jeep gets to the way point on this side of the wall the calculated path will be through the breach. Result AT gun in the backyard nice and safe.

You can use this for dynamic entry to buildings or assaulting walled courtyards getting through bocage and other obstacles such as wire.

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There does still exist the issue that some gaps seem to allow a vehicle to pass (the pathing tool shows the gap is driveable) but the vehicle can't do it and turns around to go another way.  

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9 minutes ago, Vacilllator said:

Hmmmm, I'm all 👂s thanks Ian.  If I get it wrong I will be 💀 and look like a 🤡

Yeah timing is critical and if you get it wrong you still end up in the middle of the cross road full of bullet holes.

 

9 minutes ago, Vacilllator said:

Sorry I'm having an Emoji day instead of April Fool's.

I like it. 👍

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1 hour ago, IanL said:

You have some good answers. Well not good but truthful. You get better at figuring out what is going to cause trouble and what is not as you play. But at a cost of some moments like what you have just experienced.

The solution we really need is one of more of 1) show a no move cursor as you hover over gaps so you know and 2) have a better WISIWIG for gaps.

The stated request for a path preview is not likely easy (it requires full calculation of movement) and can turn out to be wrong too. Here is what I mean by it can be "wrong": movement in the game works by having a unit calculate the path to the next way point when it gets to the end of its current move order. This is important because units calculate their next movement path based on the reality at that moment not the reality at the beginning of the turn.

Let's take your situation as an example. Had you known the gap was not wide enough or there was no gap at all but you had engineers or a tank who could breach or destroy the wall you can accomplish what you want in one turn and not two. You order the engineers up to the wall and give them a blast command through it. You also order your jeep towing the AT gun to dive towards the wall making sure to have a way point on its side of the wall and one on the other right where the gap is going to be, then into position behind the house. Issue a pause command for the jeep so it only reaches the wall after the engineers are done blasting. Engineers usually take 15s to breach a wall like this if no one is shooting at them. Give your jeep more time than that.  When the minute starts the jeep will be waiting and the engineers will be busy hiding (yeah they aren't hiding they are setting the charge but for some reason the game lists them as hiding while they do that) next the blast will go off and the wall will be breached. Then the jeep will start driving toward the wall. Because the path to the next way point on the other side of the wall will be calculated when the jeep gets to the way point on this side of the wall the calculated path will be through the breach. Result AT gun in the backyard nice and safe.

You can use this for dynamic entry to buildings or assaulting walled courtyards getting through bocage and other obstacles such as wire.

Fair enough that things can change once the unit gets to a particular waypoint, but that fits with RL too.  You get there and things have changed, but I think that would be more the exception than the rule (having a path that was open now blocked). I think we could all live with that; however, 'pre-plotting/vetting' (if you will) would still avoid giving orders that appear to be legit only to have the unit wasted when they try a completely different way or take-off in some direction that it then takes several minutes to bring them back! At the very least, would not an automated pause at the point where they can't proceed further be better? Yes, this could still leave them in a vulnerable spot, but that's something that is factored in by the player when they plot the route anyway.

Alternatively, yes, if the no-go cursor were to be better tuned then, yes, that would accomplish the same, but sadly, this was another of many examples where it couldn't be trusted either. Yes, if it's fine-tuned to where it will definitely change to no-go in such cases, that would, indeed be the same kind of solution.

Your example is noteworthy, because I have found the same to be true in that very same situation - I specifically do NOT order following troops to just go straight through the blasted wall, etc., because they don't always do that! I had a blast unit blow a hole in a wall, but then takeoff around the building to the main door in order to get inside! Precisely because, the plotted paths are so suspect in such situations, I've learnt (and now even more so!) to test it with someone else first! In the case of a blasted hole, this usually being the Breach team. However, this case also shows the drawback in that - infantry might pass through the gap just fine, but not a vehicle, so it's still of limited use. But again, personally I would rather pay the time penalty in having the game initially vet the path and tell me if there's a problem than, potentially have the whole battle/fight ruined by absurd outcomes such as we're discussing here. In terms of playability, I'm not sure I understand the arguement against.

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@IanL WISIWIG being what you see is what you get? Yes, anything that would show the player the path isn't going to work is fine. That's ultimately what is needed and what we don't have now, to the detriment of game enjoyment.

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BFC have had years to sort this out. But it would appear that they couldn't be arsed. Maybe they should change their slogan from "Twenty years of wargaming excellence" to "A decade of wargaming excellence and a decade of cock ups". 

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