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Force Allocation and Fog of War in CPXs


LibertyOrDeath
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A CPX that runs for six hours may be too long for most players. After all, people have to eat, stretch, and take bathroom breaks! Now I have yet to participate in a CPX, but I believe that the game play can be greatly sped up if the CO has direct command of a few units in each of his team members' formations, in addition to any available air assets that the side may have. This will help limit tedious, written communications to higher command.

Because the CO will have visual contact with his team members' troops and most enemy contacts that they make, frequent situation and spotting reports necessary in pre-TacOps 4.0 CPX's will not be necessary here in order for the CO to be aware of the critical battlefield developments. In addition, if the CO has direct command of artillery support, attack aircraft, helos, and UAVs, he will have near-complete situational awareness with the ability to respond with massive firepower. The few units that he commands in each of his team members' formations essentially act as his forward observers for the fire missions and air strikes in this arrangement.

Of course, the CO will still have to update his officers on OPFOR's axis of advance and other "big picture" intel.

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The problem is workload. given enough time and effort, the CO can get a great picture. However, the time and effort taken to get a great picture may be better spent getting an OK picture and then concentrating on orchestrating the battle - kind of along the lines of Patton's comment on "a good plan now is better than a great plan next week".

CPX experience is pretty much absolute that the CO should command as few actual units as possible. Dedicated artillery officers have practically always performed better than the CO doing the artillery alongside everything else; once you sink your teeth into it, providing maximally effective fire support is a big job.

As a v4 CO, I've tried to have liaison units that ran around with subordinate formations. It's a lot of work to make them keep up. If they get near the front line, they die. If they stay safe, then they don't see enough. It's simpler and just as effective to hand the units to the local commander and get a report - much the same process as in prior versions of TacOps, really.

Breaks aren't completely impossible, either. If nothing else, there's the file-exchange times which usually run for 1.5 minutes or more. smile.gif

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Last time I tried this as a CPX CO I lost control of the battle (the internet dropouts helped, too smile.gif .

In addition, the fact that you have so few other units to move around in the frontline make you overuse helicopters and UAVs. You get them killed quickly from not plotting a precise enough path or from plain curiosity.

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Originally posted by James Sterrett:

As a v4 CO, I've tried to have liaison units that ran around with subordinate formations. It's a lot of work to make them keep up. If they get near the front line, they die. If they stay safe, then they don't see enough. It's simpler and just as effective to hand the units to the local commander and get a report - much the same process as in prior versions of TacOps, really.

I guess I'm just a control freak. :D

It seems like from your experience that liaison units are not very effective on the attack. But what about on the defense? Less movement is involved on the defense, especially early in the game...

Now, if I were a CO or artillery officer and liaison units are permitted, I would have my subordinate officers momentarily transfer command of some of their units with LOS to critical targets to me, so I could use the precise locations of the enemy units for targeting artillery and air strikes. Of course, I understand that imperfect information and reporting is what makes these CPX/MTM games fun. But let's face it: a picture is worth a thousand words and nobody wants to lose.

This brings me to my other point. Should screenshots be exchanged among team members? If I were CO and have a UAV to fly around, I would want to take a screenshot of the enemy's formations that are seen from the UAV and pass it along to the subordinate officer(s) who will likely make contact with the spotted units. A lot of players have broadband, so exchanging screenshots could be done in under a minute or so. But would such practice essentially degenerate the CPX into a 2 player game with servants who do nothing but enter orders?

What do you think?

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I think you're missing two things in your plan:

1) There's o way to "quickly transfer" units. The umpire has to find the units and change the PINs, then update the relevant players. While this happens - say 30-45 seconds ignoring the time to organize the event - those players cannot do anything (because any orders given will be lost in the update). If you assume the turn time limit is 60 seconds, those two players now have 15 seconds to give orders, or you've given everybody else a bonus 30-45 seconds of orders-giving. In any event, multiple events of this type slow the game down.

Second, all players see all spotted enemy units. In terms of seeing the enemy, there's no advantage to liaison units. They're good for seeing *friendly* units. smile.gif If you can handle the uncertainty and delay of replying on reported positions and states, then you'll have more mental clock cycles, as CO, to worry about how the overall battle is going: what is the enemy doing? How are we countering it? Should we commit the reserve? and so on....

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