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AI Orders Question


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Ok, need some expert advice here. Let's say I have a rifle platoon with 3 squads. The platoon is assigned Group 1 in the Units window. To be clear, all 3 squads are designated Group 1 (A1). I have the 3 squads spread out in discontinuous action squares (is my terminology correct there?). Each of those squares contains a house (for example). As I say, each of these houses & squads are not adjacent to each other. I want them to defend their positions in situ. The way I have been doing it is I would place each squad into their respective houses using the Deploy Setup Zones, but not painting an AI setup zone. They have no orders assigned other than the Setup. So, I want them to stay and defend their respective locations/houses.

1. Do I need/should I paint in an AI setup zone for each squad covering each house? Note I would be painting a discontinuous AI setup zone for a single group if I do (see #3).

2. Do I need/should I add an AI Order to each of them (i.e. Order 2) and paint in an AI zone for each of the houses, and give them each a Max Assault & Ambush to get them to stay in place and defend those locations?

3. Do I need to have each of those squads in separate groups? The reason for that question is that I've heard discontinuous painted AI zones for a single group can create unexpected or unwanted results (as in maybe this is why some have seen some defenders leave their foxholes and take up positions closer to the enemy in Dnieper Rising).

Thanks very much for your help :) .

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1)

- If you give them no setup zone, and outside a deployment zone (if there even is one), they will set up exactly where you left them
- If you give them a setup zone inside a deployment zone, they'll set up there (semi-randomly within the setup zone
- If you give them no setup zone, inside a deployment zone, they'll set up semi-randomly within the deployment zone

2)

Brief notes on AI order type (I have a more extensive list I've been working on)

Type - Typical usage

Dash - Movement Out of Contact, and all together.
Quick - Contact unexpected
Advance - Long range contact
Assault - Short/Medium range contact
Max Assault - Short ranged attack on an objective

The further down that list you go, the fewer elements will move at any one time. This is what "max assault" really means - it means sending forward a squad or fire team, whilst the rest stays put. In the abstract, this might be in place as a base of fire, and perhaps will have move into position using stealth (ambush stances, perhaps).
 

and stance:

Active - Prioritise shooting over moving
Normal
Cautious - Prioritise moving over shooting

If you're setting up in the houses, there's probably no need to do anything further, unless you want to set a specific ambush range.

If you do a move order, especially max assault, then they'll move around, perhaps one squad at a time, over several minutes. This does not sound like what you want.

3) Whether these groups should be separate is a question of nuance.

The nice thing about large (or discontinuous) zones are that you can't know precisely where they will end up, giving you a small amount of variance in the execution of the plan. This could also be a problem, naturally. They usually try to spread themselves out evenly.

I'd suggest that you generally don't want the squads to be in different groups, and instead to trust to the AI to do a lot of the smaller scale work. If there's an element whose positioning is really important - e.g. a specific weapon system, or a transport vehicle that needs to withdraw - then break that into a smaller chunk, but typically you just want to think of the group as "1st platoon" or whatever.

 

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That’s a nice write-up, domfluff. Will you be sharing the final version?

Canuck21, in the situation you’re looking at, I don’t do anything but set the squads up in their houses with no set zone and no orders, like domfluff said. They’ll stay until shot up enough to displace away to presumably safer environs.

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Since the game defaults to Group 1 I typically reserve Group 1 for my 'do not move' forces. Mortar teams, air defense, Battalion HQ, random trucks, defensive positions, etc. So anything I neglect to assign AI orders to stays in place.

You can still give timed AI orders to units without painted movement orders. Like having a mortar team area fire on a designated area after a trigger is activated, or having units go from 'hide' to 'active' with a tripped trigger. No need to paint AI setup or movement orders.

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And in typical behaviour, I see I left out one very key element of this whole thing. There is a very wide overarching Deployment Setup Zone painted on the map, and the units were all placed in their respective positions within that Deployment Zone. There were no AI Setup zones painted however.

@domfluff - That's fantastic! Thank you for that. I've copied it out and put it in my notes. 

@mjkerner - Ok, that's pretty much what I've done, and was certainly the case with CMRT's "Dnieper Rising". The issue was that one player found that the Germans were abandoning their foxholes (which substituted for the houses example I used above) and move towards the Russians during the fight, and of course got wiped out in the process. NOW, "Dnieper Rising" was made before F&R was out, and as I recall, part of the update that came with F&R (and had already been instituted in the other WWII games with Game Engine 4) was that the troops would better stay in cover while under fire. So perhaps this issue is something that has a bit to do with that? I really don't know. The update that I released today was made after F&R was installed so hopefully the problem won't persist, and based on what I'm seeing here, I should be ok with how I have things set up in my other scenarios.

Thanks people! Once again a huge help.

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4 minutes ago, MikeyD said:

Since the game defaults to Group 1 I typically reserve Group 1 for my 'do not move' forces. Mortar teams, air defense, Battalion HQ, random trucks, defensive positions, etc. So anything I neglect to assign AI orders to stays in place.

You can still give timed AI orders to units without painted movement orders. Like having a mortar team area fire on a designated area after a trigger is activated, or having units go from 'hide' to 'active' with a tripped trigger. No need to paint AI setup or movement orders.

Oh wow, OK, I did not know that! That's really helpful again! Thanks :) 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Canuck21 said:

Do I need/should I paint... Do I need/should I add... Do I need to have each of those squads in separate groups?

A good thing to do, and a good way to learn about the AI, is to try things out in the editor and see what happens when you play the scenario in the scenario creator mode in which you can keep a close eye on the AI-troops. If things don't work the way you expected you just try something else.

Edited by BornGinger
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Thanks for this @BornGinger. That's pretty much the way I've been doing it, but in the case of the scenario in question, I never saw the behaviour that 1 or 2 others have. So I figured I'd shortcut things a wee bit from you folks in the know so I'm not turning out really bad stuff where people get halfway through a scenario and it all goes into the dumper on them. I have (as you and others have suggested) made a test scenario where I can try out a lot of these things but there are so many variables with the TacAI that I've missed a few important things that simply don't happen in a small test. It's a very good idea though :) .

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