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Question from a super newbie


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Think of it as the amount of firepower that unit projects at a given target from a certain distance. It is an abstracted value, in other words it does not represent the actual number of bullets shot at an enemy per volley.

As for how high can it go, for the most part the listing at 40 meters is the max. However, in certain cases it may actually exceed that by a fair amount. For instance, an elite squad may have a FP value of 293 at 40 meters. Now place them in command of a headquarters with +2 combat bonus and the FP ratings may go up another 20 or 30 points.

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I found that very roughly a firepower 100 hit means that each man in the target unit marker has a 1% chance of being incapacitated.

However, there appears to be a huge modifier for first hits. If a squad gets hit no matter how hard, the casualties from the first hit are always low, only subsequent bursts decimate the target. I observed that for both smallarms and HE hits.

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Well, I had squads controlled at other squads in controlled environments. Have them fire at somebody with firepower x, 20 of these pairs on the map, and see how many people become sick.

The HE experiment is placing a few squads around a TRP and fire a elite 88 at the TRP and then count.

%%

But what I really couldn't figure out is the last thing I mentioned: the initial burst is never as effective as subsequent ones.

The test is as follows:

- place a full SMG platoon on woods bordering pavement

- put a target squad on the pavement, very close to the SMG squads

- firepower should be in the 500-1000 range

- open fire

In my runs of this test, the initial burst never killed many men. But the target squad goes down and starts sneaking before the second burst and then they die like flies.

Same for the 88 test as written above: the first round is never very effective. Subsequent rounds are much more effective.

I have no idea what to make out of this and I didn't re-run these tests with CMAK.

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Hmmm.. thanks for that. I wonder why the first burst is so inefective? Would it be better to open up with a tiny unit to make them hit the ground then open up with the heavier firepower?

Maybe infantry get more accurate as they fire, like tanks, so the first burst is to get range then after that they are more zeroed in?

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I can only speculate (and I should re-run these tests in CMAK first if I had the time), but some possibilities are:

1) I don't think your theory about getting more accurate applies, because that wouldn't explain why that effect also applies for HE

2) maybe a squad just standing in pavement is less vulnerable than one sneaking.

3) an attempt to make the game less deadly. In CM ambushes are comparably ineffective (AT fire with very low benefits for standing shooters, small TRPs etc), maybe that is part of it.

Personally I bet it's 2). To prove that theory I (or you smile.gif ) need to re-run these tests with the target squad not standing but sneaking when the first burst hits.

If it's 2) the effect is unfortunate, a squad shouldn't become more vulnerable when it goes to ground.

[ March 06, 2004, 06:01 PM: Message edited by: redwolf ]

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Just two very rough theories as to why:

1. Just like field and AT guns, there's a zeroing in effect that as long as the taget doesn't move, subsequent shots get more accurate, i.e. finding range.

2. A squad in open pavement facing the woods has a certain awareness that improves its selection of cover. But while running/sneaking away, with its back to an attacker, its selection of cover is poorer hence they take greater casualty rate as they run/sneak away.

Just a thought.

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1) I didn't shoot on a single squad. I had squads ellbow to ellbow all over the map and was counting casualties independently of position. Apart from that, an elite 88 with a TRP doesn't have much variance and I repeated the test a few time. The first hit when the bystanders are standing doesn't cause many casualties, only subsequent hit on the then sneaking squads.

2a) the squad standing on pavement had its back to the woods with the SMG folks

2b) the TacAI made it crawl towards the SMG squads (nearest cover)

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Not sure I would agree with redwolf's "100FP = ~1% chance of causing a casualty"; there are too many factors involved, ie Squad FP(whose effectiveness seems to rise exponentially), target size and cover etc. You get a 'gut feeling' for things like that once you have played a few games with different units, recognizing a given situation and acting accordingly which in the end will serve you better than trying to come up with some numbers.

IMO I don't see either the issue regards "why the first burst is less effective than following ones". Don't be so quick Alsatian, I think you have hit it on the head with the zeroing in effect. Anyone who has fired a firearm will understand.

Ron

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Some tests I did run involved some troops ranging from conscript to elite marching into a soviet SMG ambush in CMBB. The casualties were higher in the conscript troops and lessening toward the more experienced squads.

Initial bursts did do less casualties and after that the casualties did climb. The soviet troops were all regular.

I sent them all sneaking toward the soviet positions and they were all spotted at roughly the same time no matter what experience they were.

Just observations. Any comment?

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Originally posted by Meach:

I sent them all sneaking toward the soviet positions and they were all spotted at roughly the same time no matter what experience they were.

The spotting is much simpler in CM than people usually assume.

If you are moving in open ground, you are spotted at X meters by different spotters (X is different depending on who spots). Only the HQ stealth bonus affects that, and very little at that, but the experience of the unit (or the HQ) play no role.

Thanks for verifying my initial bursts results. I really appreciate it, I was beginning to think I'm nuts.

One more thing I would like to test is whether an initial burst at a sneaking squad has more impact than the same initial burst at a squad standing with the back to the shooter. This might explain the initial burst behaviour.

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Originally posted by Ron:

Not sure I would agree with redwolf's "100FP = ~1% chance of causing a casualty"; there are too many factors involved, ie Squad FP(whose effectiveness seems to rise exponentially), target size and cover etc.

Uh, all that is taken into account for that 100 FP = 1% per man disable chance number:

1) cover is taken into account, that 100 FP is of course after cover, as displayed by the LOS tool.

2) squad experience and HQ combat bonus raise firepower. My number is for that firepower that actually goes out, obviously, as displayed by the target tool in an actual battle (but not by the LOS tool in the editor).

3) target size is of course taken into account because the chance is per man in the target unit. If you have a 100 FP burst arriving at a 10 man squad you have a 10% chance to disable one or more men in that squad. If you hit a 2 person unit with 100 FP you have a 2% chance to disable one or both men.

I don't say my model must actually be what CM uses but your factors are all taken into account in that theory.

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Originally posted by redwolf:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Ron:

Not sure I would agree with redwolf's "100FP = ~1% chance of causing a casualty"; there are too many factors involved, ie Squad FP(whose effectiveness seems to rise exponentially), target size and cover etc.

Uh, all that is taken into account for that 100 FP = 1% per man disable chance number:

1) cover is taken into account, that 100 FP is of course after cover, as displayed by the LOS tool.

2) squad experience and HQ combat bonus raise firepower. My number is for that firepower that actually goes out, obviously, as displayed by the target tool in an actual battle (but not by the LOS tool in the editor).

3) target size is of course taken into account because the chance is per man in the target unit. If you have a 100 FP burst arriving at a 10 man squad you have a 10% chance to disable one or more men in that squad. If you hit a 2 person unit with 100 FP you have a 2% chance to disable one or both men.

I don't say my model must actually be what CM uses but your factors are all taken into account in that theory. </font>

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I don't understand why any of this has to do with the basic theory about what firepower does.

The stuff below is only relevant how firepower comes together, not how final firepower is applied, which is what I am speculating about.

Anyway,

Originally posted by Ron:

1. The LOS tool gives the firepower of the squad and is degraded by distance only, cover is not taken into account the last I played, which was 5 minutes ago. smile.gif

It directly displays the factor you have to multiply by. No rocket science.

2. Again the LOS tool reflects the experience of the squad but the HQ bonus is not revealed, whether in game or in the editor.

No, but the target (not LOS) tool in an actual battle does.

3. No, target size isn't taken into account because you know as well as the next guy that larger squads suffer disproportionately more casualties.

Read again what I wrote. The chance is applied to each men in the target unit individually. Hence units with more men statistically suffer more casualties from a hit with the same firepower.

... hence "Not sure I would agree with redwolf's "100FP = ~1% chance of causing a casualty""

What does any of the above have to do with how firepower gets converted into casualty chance? Your questions are about how firepower comes together, not how final firepower is applied.
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Originally posted by redwolf:

What does any of the above have to do with how firepower gets converted into casualty chance? Your questions are about how firepower comes together, not how final firepower is applied.

Exactly, and why I said what I said regards why I don't agree with your 100 FP somehow equals 1% chance of casualty. You play enough games and you get a feel for what is possible, something that your formula doesn't remotely do because it doesn't work out that way. Enough said.

Ron

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I have no idea what your point is.

I am not developing a formular to play better by calulating how many casulties each of the bursts in my next game takes. (Given that CM units rarely fire when you expect them to do so that would be pretty difficult ;) ).

I am just speculating how the game works under the hood.

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As for the opening burst on sneaking troops. I found that the second burst was only marginally more effective than the first on sneaking troops.

I guess sneaking troops avoid a lot of incoming firepower but it is behind the scenes reduction.

I.E 100fp...targeted at sneaking squad...you see 100fp but I think the comp reduces a certain amount, or adds, depending on the movement type of the target. Running squads get massacared, sneakers live a bit longer.

I have the scenario saved I think so if anyone wants to see my parameters I test with I can compress and email.

Again just observations from actual gameplay.

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redwolf,

If the effectiveness modeling works as you say it does, then this is not only counterintuitive but flatly contradicted by the official JMEM (Joint Munitions Effectiveness Meeting) volumes which clearly show much higher lethality for the initial weapon salvo, and a lower lethality for subsequent salvos.

The assumption is that the first salvo catches troops relatively exposed, standing, and thus highly vulnerable to attack. Certainly, the presented area of soldiers standing is much greater than for prone soldiers, which is what the JMEM assumes for all subsequent salvos. I believe that similar logic should apply to infantry fires in an ambush situation, and this is borne out by historical accounts of ambushes, notably in Vietnam. The name of the game was to not just inflict sudden losses, but to destroy unit cohesion and paralyze effective response by gaining and maintaining overwhelming fire superiority. This is also why counterambush drills emphasized immediate heavy counterfire and assault through the ambushers.

The proof of the fundamentals of this argument are as close as the nearest paintball field, laser tag, Air Soft, or firing range, the last outbound fire only.

Regards,

John Kettler

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John I agree, if the model is indeed limiting the initial casualties as I found.

However, I only had a limited sample size for testing and I would need to investigate whether it is as simple as just halting in the open models them less vulnerable than when sneaking, which would be a bug.

Currently I have no geat desire to invest testing time. I usually do this stuff when I have a cold or something but my last cold knocked me even away from the Windows computer so I couldn't use it.

If there is a bug and it can be proven in a statistically meaningful way then what? Me starting an auto-sneak-exhaustion thread again? Granted it worked, the changed I suggested were made in the next patch but at what cost?

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redwolf, did you have a look at the ammo counts of the firing squad? In an ongoing PBEM game I ambushed an enemy squad with an SMG heavy unit (fp > 300), and I noticed that the first burst did little damage and used one ammo point, while the second burst was more damaging but took three ammo points. Especially at close ranges you'll have to keep an eye on the ammo used per burst.

Dschugaschwili

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Well, that would require me to re-test.

I see multiple reasons why BFC would not consider doing anything about a problem even if I would clearly identify one and I don't want to go into pissing contest that cannot lead to a better game.

In any case, I never noticed SMG squad expending multiple ammo points in one burst. But even if so that wouldn't be right because obviously you would fire the longest and most powerful burst when you open fire at the unsuspected enemy and not intensify the fire only after they went to ground.

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That's two different problems.

I think that it is clear that expending more ammo should mean more firepower, so close range firepower tests will have to take that into account.

The question of when to fire longer bursts would require a new test also, especially since I only wrote about a single incident in one game, and I have no idea if this behavior is the norm or not.

Dschugaschwili

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It makes more sense that the initial burst would be deadly. Wonder why this happens that 500fp does nothing untill the enemy hit the dirt and take cover...odd if you ask me.

In a recent game tho a squad of American Infantry caused 7 casualties split over 3 squads with a low fp burst..about 400m out...secondary bursts did nothing, fog, overcast conditions.

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