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BTS: The Lewis MOVE/RUN line length limitation


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Heres an idea for an abstraction of command and control.

The given addititive "length" of RUN/MOVE commands given for a side cannot exceed a certain TOTAL length. That is, all the commanded RUN/MOVE commands are limited to some additive total depending on how long they are. Also depending on the overall troop status/command quality/other factors, it varies.

This linear limiting abstraction attempts to simulate the command and control of one side being an "attacker" and one a defender (or a turkey attacker). This could be adjusted during a scenario when reinforcements arrive and that sides total would go up.

I envision a "pie chart" non-numerical indicator of "used" length, so as to simulate a rough guessing approach a player has to adopt. Also the game could have the chess "you touched it /you move it" option to further the fun/tension.

Perhaps further abstractions like penalties for RUN/MOVE commands by units out of C&C or LOS of HQs could wreak havoc on a players "budget". It could be a variable cost. A conservative player would then realistically use units that are close to his own HQs as manuver elements. Maybe RUN commands could be expensive?

Just chucking an idea out there to kick around. CM2 stuff to limit the rooskis. OOH!, Human wave attacks (where you "box" off an area and select alot of units) costs at a discount. So a russian attacker side would have a very low manuver budget and be forced into using flesh wall tactics.

I was thinking just that infantry would be handled like this but perhaps also the armor? Maybe with seperate "budgets"?

Too wierd or what?

Lewis

[This message has been edited by :USERNAME: (edited 08-20-2000).]

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Lewis,

I understand the mechanics of what you are proposing, but not sure I understand what it is supposed to represent.

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>

This linear limiting abstraction attempts to simulate the command and control of one side being an "attacker" and one a defender (or a turkey attacker). This could be adjusted during a scenario when reinforcements arrive and that sides total would go up.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Could you expand on this paragraph some?

If the idea is to simulate the limited command and control, wouldn't it be more realistic to limit the number of commands a player could give, and have the cost of a command vary depending on status, C&C, etc. Basically the same idea you proposed, except based on number of commands, not length.

In either case, if I had the option, I would play without these limitations, but I could see where it would add some additional challenging decision making.

-Kyle

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I want to limit the command and control. The assumption is that movement, specifically MOVE and RUN commands require alot of command and control. It takes alot of coordination and yacking and yelling to get people to move out.

So a limitation is proposed that if you were to select a unit and command him to move a quarter mile, out of LOS of any friendly unit, you might use up your whole turns total allowance of movement. This might simulate a patrol lets say.

You wrote:

"If the idea is to simulate the limited command and control, wouldn't it be more realistic to limit the number of commands a player could give, and have the cost of a command vary depending on status, C&C, etc. Basically the same idea you proposed, except based on number of commands, not length."

I see your point but as the above example shows, I can simulate a patrol. I have also limited the number of commands also. In the above case to one command because of its very nature (being far, out of LOS,etc).

I have a "problem" with the games mechanic of unlimited amounts of commands, especially the mixing of commands and CERTAINLY the commanding of units into areas out of LOS. The game looks like a soccer match sometimes with willy nilly movement. From my readings, an infantry unit, that is not part of some organized set piece assault (with prep fires, arty support,etc) will invariably go to ground/seek cover when taken under fire. If you read Burgetts books, even airborne units flatten out unless its some ORGANIZED assault. There really is to much abuse of movement in the game and some abstraction could be implemented.

Another abstraction I can see is to have a BIG budget hit if you command a unit to move within a certain "space" occupied by an enemy unit (especially hidden units). I laugh when I see my units blindly running through a house with the enemy in it. Another budget whammy would be to send a unit into a ambush zone. You think its just a small pittance to get a unit to waltz up a road but BLAM! your budget gets sucked dry by running into an ambush! (you should have SNEAKED, it would have cost NOTHING!). So movement commands like SNEAK/CRAWL take on new merits and an attacker gets more in line with reality.

Perhaps this "budgeting" could work differently. Double click a HQ. All his units light up. He gets a budget depending on variables. His units get to recieve MOVE/RUN commands from that budget.

Lewis

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I understand the reasoning behind this, but to be honest, I find it unnecessary. I think that CM already manages and limits movement orders effectively.

I think that you're proceeding on the false assumtion that, in CM, we play the part of the highest-ranking commander on the scene. Which is true. However - we also play the part of every subordinate commander under that high-ranking officer's command, down to the squad level.

I picture it this way. The highest-ranking commander - let's say we're dealing with a company - on the scene says to his subordinates "okay, platoon A, go take that town; platoon B, go blow up that tank; platoon C, angle into those woods; platoon D, hang back and provide a base of fire." Now, that didn't take too long. It's up to the platoon commanders to fine tune those orders and say "Squads A and B, fire into that building; Squad C, rush the machine gun on the second floor." That didn't take too long either. Obviously, if the company commander had to issue orders to each squad under his command, he'd go nuts, but that's what subordinates are for.

Your main concern seems to be with limiting the Russian attackers in CM2. Unless BTS states otherwise, I've always assumed that troop strength will be handled in the same way that CM handles it. That is, while the Allies clearly had the material advantage over the Germans in the ETO, there were many individual battles in which the sides were roughly equal.

If I've misunderstood your argument, I apologize, but I just don't see the need for a change like this.

------------------

Soy super bien, soy super super bien, soy bien bien super bien bien bien super super.

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by David Aitken:

There's a thin line between "challenge" and "bloody nuisance which would make you quit the game in frustration and go and play Quake".

David

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

LOL

I dont even know what Quake is (shoot'em'up?). I hate predictability and I hate games that get to be unchallenging. Something like "East Front" boils down to a simple-math-model-clockwork-drudgery-dullfest.

Different strokes for different folks. I am never scared of thinking though and I take your comments as part of the process.

Lewis

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"I understand the reasoning behind this, but to be honest, I find it unnecessary. I think that CM already manages and limits movement orders effectively."

-Chupacra

I only seeing them limited by time. That is, delays in time between command and execution. We are talking about "good order" units here just to be clear. I have a problem with giving pinned isolated units ANY commands but thats another issue. I picture it this way. The highest-ranking commander - let's say we're dealing with a company - on the scene says to his subordinates "okay, platoon A, go take that town; platoon B, go blow up that tank; platoon C, angle into those woods; platoon D, hang back and provide a base of fire." Now, that didn't take too long. It's up to the platoon commanders to fine tune those orders and say "Squads A and B, fire into that building; Squad C, rush the machine gun on the second floor." That didn't take too long either. Obviously, if the company commander had to issue orders to each squad under his command, he'd go nuts, but that's what subordinates are for."

-Chupacra

Since you were very well mannered in your response (and I appreciate you responding and keeping the thread alive), I will refrain from being a dick here. But I was in the military and if it only were as short and simple in PEACETIME manuvers as you put it in that paragraph...

Read "company commander" or some of the other books. Most well laid plans dont last a minute in the face of enemy action. They seem to object or something.

"Your main concern seems to be with limiting the Russian attackers in CM2. Unless BTS states otherwise, I've always assumed that troop strength will be handled in the same way that CM handles it. That is, while the Allies clearly had the material advantage over the Germans in the ETO, there were many individual battles in which the sides were roughly equal.

If I've misunderstood your argument, I apologize, but I just don't see the need for a change like this."

I could also be concerned about CMBO Deluxe or a revisit to the German/Western battles. US units enjoyed a vast radio communications advantage even to the squad level "handytalky" equipment. The germans offset this by having very good (depending on training) NCOs and tactical expertise. They were fighting battles years before the US in Europe. I could see having US units "accept" commands even when out of LOS/Command Control of HQs. There would be delays of course.

Theres no "need" for a change like this unless the games philosophy is to be as realistic/challenging/fun as possible. It isnt hard to code and only is part of the command phase so shouldnt "hit" the CPU game running. I can see no changes needed during the TACAI part of the game. BTS could comment. I addressed this thread to them specifically.

Thanks for your response Chup

Lewis

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Guest aka PanzerLeader

Aha. Now I understand you Lewis.

And I agree that C&C should be somewhat limited in certain circumstances, for example with squads that are out of LOS of the platoon HQ, or even on a bigger scale entire companies.

And your proposal sounds interesting. It would just need extensive testing to see if it isn't too frustrating for the player.

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Mmm, what you're proposing would definitely alter the flow and pace of the game(slower) but I wonder if the overall results, however more realistically obtained, would be very different than it is at present? I agree with David that it is a thin line.

I'm reminded of something somewhat related that's been nagging me since I started playing this game. That is, the almost telepathic degree of cooperation between the Tank and Infantry arms. In the game the player can immediately divert armor assets to any trouble spots to lend their fire support. Historically, the cooperation and coordination of the two was a problem and Doubler's 'Closing with the Enemy' talks of it in detail.

Not to derail the original discussion but I question if there could be more limitations on this. Not sure how it could be done other than to further differentiate what the Armor 'sees' compared to the rest of the force and hence what it could fire on. In addition, maybe define a role, route also?, at the start for the Armor with an added command delay if it is altered. Perhaps I'm talking through my hat here but just more food for thought.

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I'd rather just see the chess-timer function for the human player. The game mechanics stay the same, but the real limits and pressures are simulated nicely.

I imagine deciding how much time to allow per turn will depend on scenario size, number of units, or something. Glad I don't have to pick it, 'cause whatever is chosen will be wrong.

I wonder if it could be implemented for PBEM as well as TCP/IP and Hotseat?

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I like the timer function too. Couldnt be that hard to implement. Would certainly speed up email games.

"I'm reminded of something somewhat related that's been nagging me since I started playing this game. That is, the almost telepathic degree of cooperation between the Tank and Infantry arms. In the game the player can immediately divert armor assets to any trouble spots to lend their fire support. Historically, the cooperation and coordination of the two was a problem and Doubler's 'Closing with the Enemy' talks of it in detail."

-Joe Private

Yeah its been discussed and I think BTS said itll be looked into. Options include being an infantry only commander with all the enemy and your own armor being run by the AI. Or having 3 player games would be cool. One guy is the enemy infantry and assorted non-armor weapons and two other guys being inf and armor leaders on the same side {No fair phoning each other unless radio links are present or pacific sherman style rear phones).

Any of this could all be optional with the present system still being an option (for newbies/purists/wimps).

Lewis

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by JoePrivate:

Not to derail the original discussion but I question if there could be more limitations on this. Not sure how it could be done other than to further differentiate what the Armor 'sees' compared to the rest of the force and hence what it could fire on. In addition, maybe define a role, route also?, at the start for the Armor with an added command delay if it is altered. Perhaps I'm talking through my hat here but just more food for thought.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Way back "I dont know when" I proposed that the player was NOT given the choice of which UNIT to pick to but that it was presented to him. Example: The computer does a comparison check to see the amount of information each unit can see about the enemy. The UNITS with the least info have to be assigned commands first. Then when each unit has been chosen for you (lets say a stug), the enemy units shown to him are figured out ONLY by his state. So he might only see a Red white blue CIRCLE instead of a cromwell that OTHER friendly units can see. The stug cant target the circle (so as to get a drop on it). Its somewhat an improvement over the inter telepathic knowledge shared as is.

Lewis

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Also the chosen unit sees friend and foe alike. That is, he is (The UNIT) blind as to the sides TOTAL dispositions. Perhaps a mile high view from the highest setting is available to the player or a vague overall map option with "loose" platoon symbols locations given. He could see generic friendly tanks, other friendly squads but maybe not the strength, etc.

This simulates the isolation of individual unit command decisions to me. The overall map would give the battalion/kamfgruppe overall picture/command.

The poor player only gets to see "everything" during the movie!!! One option is that you only get one movie viewing! Only kidding.

Lewis

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Guest Big Time Software

I understand what you are getting at Lewis. It is probably one of the most significant things left to tackle. Unfortunately... there is no simple solution. There probably isn't even a semi-complicated solution that would still keep the game fun and interesting to play, as well as realistic. The main problem is that the human player will *ALWAYS* be able to coordinate and exercise more control than would be evident on the same battlefield in WWII. This gets back to the long debates about changing CM into a "command level" wargame. Anybody who did not see the couple dozen threads on this should do a Search before commenting, as these discussions were long and passionate (and I don't have time to do them again smile.gif).

There is something more that can be done, I am sure of that. What it is... I don't know. The problem is that anything short of a command level wargame will be unrealistic. A platoon, and its squads, should not be limited in terms of movement orders like you suggest, as it removes low level initiative that realistically should be evident. The problem is one of higher coordination of assets, and your proposed system does nothing to limit this.

What we first need to do, before ANYTHING else, is to have what we call "relative spotting". That is a system where each unit can only fire at what it personally has spotted, as opposed to something another friendly unit has spotted. Unfortunately, a system like this is very involved and complicated from a programming standpoint. It is not likely to enter into CM any time soon. Definitely not CM2.

Until CM has realitive spotting, limiting unrealistic levels of higher coordination is nearly impossible without unrealistically affecting lower level initiative. And on balance, lower level initiative is more important to retain (from a realism standpoint) than than sacrificing it to hinder higher level coordination.

To date I do not know of any wargame that has realtive spotting. I also can't think of even one that attempts to restirict higher level planning even as much as CM does. Did I miss any game title for either? Point is to show that this is a very difficult problem to tackle and that CM does a better job than most, and arguably better than any overall. So for the time being it will probably remain this way.

Steve

P.S. Timers will be introduced with the TCP/IP patch.

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Big Time Software:

A platoon, and its squads, should not be limited in terms of movement orders like you suggest, as it removes low level initiative that realistically should be evident. The problem is one of higher coordination of assets, and your proposed system does nothing to limit this.

What we first need to do, before ANYTHING else, is to have what we call "relative spotting". That is a system where each unit can only fire at what it personally has spotted, as opposed to something another friendly unit has spotted. Unfortunately, a system like this is very involved and complicated from a programming standpoint. It is not likely to enter into CM any time soon. Definitely not CM2.

Until CM has realitive spotting, limiting unrealistic levels of higher coordination is nearly impossible without unrealistically affecting lower level initiative. And on balance, lower level initiative is more important to retain (from a realism standpoint) than than sacrificing it to hinder higher level coordination.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I dont think you quite get it Steve. Relative spotting is only needed during the ORDERS phase. It should be as I described it above. Click on a unit and the board is represented from his perspective.

As for initiative:

Lets take the case of an assault scenario. The attacker would have ample "lineage" so as to give practically any UNIT that wants to move a run/move/whatever movement order. This simulates nicely a set piece attack with well understood orders all around. A defender that hasnt used his movement lineage would see a carryover effect to simulate counterattack capability. All units could of course still fire, ambush, withdraw, sneak, crawl, so noone doesnt have individual initiative taken away.

As the scenario wears on and the attackers HQs get whacked and such, this lineage would shorten for the attacker. This nicely models the loss of C&C.

I also mentioned relative (?) spotting DURING THE ORDERS PHASE. Please reread my previous threadif you would. Units during the orders phase see the battlefield, including friendly units THROUGH THEIR RELATIVE PERSPECTIVE. A neat new unit would be the Unknown Generic tank. The unit cant tell who the hell it is. Movement lines toward it might cost more.

Now as far as the higher level coordination it works like this:

Example: US player wants to unrealistically high tail a sherman tank over to the other side of the board and get behind a stug he cant even see. There are two US crews over there that can see it but are no way in communication with the Sherman. The US player has a good "feel" for the games mechanics and "knows" that a sherman can get there in one minute. Its gamey as is.

In the system I proposed above, the sherman would pay big because of the following. As the US player starts laying MOVE FAST lines down, he starts seeing that the costs are getting exponentially higher for moving over simliar terrain! Why? Its because he is moving in terrain that is out of LOS of his origional position. Its simulating the fact that he would need to spend SOME time taking in new tarrain, judging where to go next, etc. The US player says screw it and cancels the strings and decides that discretion is the better part of valour and withdraws units away from the stug instead. Kind of works to me.

Lewis

[This message has been edited by :USERNAME: (edited 08-20-2000).]

[This message has been edited by :USERNAME: (edited 08-21-2000).]

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Another way could be to "line" each unit.

That is, the units themselves have a LINE LIMIT or LEG LIMIT and giving movement orders like sending a squad a quarter mile away out of LOS of himself and any other unit uses up that units movement orders. He cant get any other orders is what I am saying.

I think the points approach and penalties like the above sherman example have merit.

Lewis

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Big Time Software:

[b

P.S. Timers will be introduced with the TCP/IP patch.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

How will the timers be affected with slower computers? I've been playing PBEM with an opponent who has a much faster CPU than I have and in larger battles my computer is somewhat sluggish. By the way, I think it's great the way BTS is supporting this game. What are we up to-4 patches? For a game that was great from day one.

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Aggamemnon:

How will the timers be affected with slower computers? I've been playing PBEM with an opponent who has a much faster CPU than I have and in larger battles my computer is somewhat sluggish. By the way, I think it's great the way BTS is supporting this game. What are we up to-4 patches? For a game that was great from day one.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

As the timer applies only to both side's plotting of orders, then it's likely that an option would be included to set the allowed order-plotting time to a value that both sides would agree to. So if you need a few extra minutes to scroll around your map with your computer when you plot orders, you could let your opponent know before you both decide on what the time allowance is.

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I dont think you quite get it Steve. Relative spotting is only needed during the ORDERS phase. It should be as I described it above. Click on a unit and the board is represented from his perspective.

As for initiative:

Lets take the case of an assault scenario. The attacker would have ample "lineage" so as to give practically any UNIT that wants to move a run/move/whatever movement order. This simulates nicely a set piece attack with well understood orders all around. A defender that hasnt used his movement lineage would see a carryover effect to simulate counterattack capability. All units could of course still fire, ambush, withdraw, sneak, crawl, so a individual UNITs initiative is not taken away.

As the scenario wears on and the attackers HQs get whacked and such, this lineage would shorten for the attacker. This nicely models the loss of C&C.

I also mentioned relative (?) spotting DURING THE ORDERS PHASE. Please reread my previous threadif you would. Units during the orders phase see the battlefield, including friendly units THROUGH THEIR RELATIVE PERSPECTIVE. A neat new unit would be the Unknown Generic tank. The unit cant tell who the hell it is. Movement lines toward it might cost more.

Now as far as the higher level coordination it works like this:

Example: US player wants to unrealistically high tail a sherman tank over to the other side of the board and get behind a stug he cant even see. There are two US crews over there that can see it but are no way in communication with the Sherman. The US player has a good "feel" for the games mechanics and "knows" that a sherman can get there in one minute. Its gamey as is.

In the system I proposed above, the sherman would pay big because of the following. As the US player starts laying MOVE FAST lines down, he starts seeing that the costs are getting exponentially higher for moving over simliar terrain! Why? Its because he is moving in terrain that is out of LOS of his origional position. Its simulating the fact that he would need to spend SOME time taking in new tarrain, judging where to go next, etc. The US player says screw it and cancels the strings and decides that discretion is the better part of valour and withdraws units away from the stug instead. Kind of works to me.

Lewis

PS Just bumping this up to see if Steve will answer.

PPS I also would like BTS comments on INFANTRY units running through each other. I know they wanted to get away from hex based games but they seemed to ignore that units have a certain 'space'. I envision an automatic ambush perimeter around a unit. This would decrease in diameter as the unit looses men, get suppressed, etc. (I am just full of ideas aint I?)

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by :USERNAME::

...

The given addititive "length" of RUN/MOVE commands given for a side cannot exceed a certain TOTAL length. That is, all the commanded RUN/MOVE commands are limited to some additive total depending on how long they are. Also depending on the overall troop status/command quality/other factors, it varies.

This linear limiting abstraction attempts to simulate the command and control of one side being an "attacker" and one a defender (or a turkey attacker). This could be adjusted during a scenario when reinforcements arrive and that sides total would go up.

I envision a "pie chart" non-numerical indicator of "used" length, so as to simulate a rough guessing approach a player has to adopt. Also the game could have the chess "you touched it /you move it" option to further the fun/tension.

Perhaps further abstractions like penalties for RUN/MOVE commands by units out of C&C or LOS of HQs could wreak havoc on a players "budget". It could be a variable cost. A conservative player would then realistically use units that are close to his own HQs as manuver elements. Maybe RUN commands could be expensive?[This message has been edited by :USERNAME: (edited 08-20-2000).]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

After reading the suggestions and thinking about it (run length limit, pie charts, "touched it -move it" nonsense, etc.), I come to the conclusion that I do not want to play CM this style.

So a thumbs down and a NO from me for these "enhancements".

Fred

------------------

"I got signals, I got readings, in front and behind of us!" - PFC Hudson on LV-426 mission

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I alsp don't think this adds much. Increasing the movement delays would make more sense (maybe as a function of distance from HQ unit--I usually keep them in command so I haven't really noticed whether it continues to go up as you get farther).

An example that your scheme would make unnecessarily difficult, if not impossible:

Lt. Scheisskopf, take your platoon and ford that river there, then hike down along it and wait in ambush into 0745 on the far side of the bridge. If you don't get anyone trying to cross it by then, come across and attack the town from behind, the other 3 platoons will be attacking from the front by that time and will either have chased the retreating units into the ambush or committed them so you can come up behind"

This takes place in a canned scenario that is pretty short, and to be effective requires that moves be plotted to the bridge from the first turn (will take 10 or so turns to get there, and the command delay is a killer). I also find it entirely realistic-- the Platoon Lt. has full control over his troops (at least while they're in C&C), and once they have their instructions they can all head out. If they don't encounter any enemy units (as happened when I played it), the plans don't have to change.

Sure, plans go to hell fast, but that's what the C&C line/delay are for. I'd be more in favor of adding additional delay based on line length (or number of segments or some combination), rather than limiting line length, although that can be problematic too. "Hug that tree line" is a 4 word command that can take a lot of segments. "Take that platoon around the left side", along with "Follow Me" from the PL is 8 words that can take a lot of line length.

Once you have some action and haven't exposed all the enemy units, it's generally dangerous to plot long lines anyway. It's hard to set up a good bounding overwatch between squads with a long set of lines.

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Chrisl

I cant for the life of me follow what you are talking about.

I just reread it again. Still cant follow you . I think you are trying to make some point about that Combat mission is about action or something. As I pointed out before, an attacker would have plenty of c&c in the beggining of an action.

Sorry. You are hard to follow,

Lewis

lewis

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Guest Big Time Software

Lewis, I get what you are talking about but it simply isn't possible to do for two reasons;

1. Relative Spotting, no matter WHEN it happens, involves a crapload of coding and side issues. It ain't going to happen for a while. Without it, overall C&C restrictions on the player aren't going to do much because a major part of the problem is units being able to see what they shouldn't see.

2. Moving out of LOS is not something that is a fair measure of what the unit could do in real life. If some vehicle wants to barrel down an unexplored road, why should it get whacked penalties of any sort? Units did stuff like this in real life all the time, and usually paid a serious price for it too. And how do you account for terrain the unit has already "explored" but simply can't see at that very second in the Orders Phase? And why should a small dip or rise in an otherwise open field cause the unit to get penalized.

Sorry, I do understand what it is you are suggesting, but it is clunky and not workable at best. At worst it penalizes legitimate play and does not improve C&C simulation on balance.

Folks, there are NO QUICK FIXES for this unless we remove the human from the game and have the computer simulate everything. That is just the way it is.

Steve

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Guest Big Time Software

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>I also would like BTS comments on INFANTRY units running through each other. I know they wanted to get away from hex based games but they seemed to ignore that units have a certain 'space'. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes units can move through each other, what is wrong with that? 12 men don't stand up with arms linked blocking another 12 men, also with their arms linked, from moving through them.

But yes, units do have "footprints" that are paid attention to. If you notice, except for emergency situations, a unit will not purposefully settle down on top of another based on their unit size. Easy one to test out is with a house. Try putting a company in there and see how many units you can pack in.

Steve

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