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Another interesting bug, this time in Operations


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Don't recall seeing this one on the boards before. That is probably because this bug occurs only in Operations.

The bug relates to tank platoons that lose the HQ tank in an earlier battle while leaving one or more subordinate tanks around for a later battle. What happens in this situation is that the subordinate tanks will take commands from any infantry commander who is nearby -- that same as if the subordinate tank were an MG or other weapons team.

I can't tell for sure what the full ramifications are. The only reliable test I can perform has to do with command delay, and the tanks do get the benefit of being in command, plus any bonuses that the infantry commander might have. I assume the tanks would also get any morale benefits and bonuses. What I can't tell is if they get any combat or stealth bonuses -- something that they could not get from a tank HQ since tank HQs do not get these bonuses.

This occurs only when the subordinate tanks start a new battle in an Operation without having their HQ tank -- something that couldn't happen in a Battle.

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Originally posted by Sgt AA:

Played a lot of OP but never realised that it was a bug. Thought that they need a commander for not beeing slow. IIRC they also need to have open hatch, even if they have radio. (?)

Your point about the open hatch is a good one. I didn't check that, so don't know if it's required or not. I still think it's a bug though. Otherwise this phenomena would happen in the middle of a battle, but it only happens when subordinate tanks start a new battle in an operation after their HQ was knocked out in a previous battle.
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Yes, I have seen that, and was puzzled by it. So puzzling that I declined to take advantage of it.

But I wonder if this is "working as designed"--something intentionally to reduce the impact of losing an HQ tank? Hard to see how it could be accidental (though I know nothing of the coding).

Of course, the tank is no longer as mobile, if it is tied to an infantry unit.

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I've used this in operations where you have a personality that in RL did a lot to turn the tide of an action by their personnal leadership - so you not only have the 'personality' in a tank say, but also have em as battalion HQ - they can then 'command' that leaderless unit. Whether a bug or not I cam't say but it's been around since the games inception smile.gif

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It's a bug, otherwise it would occur any time that a tank platoon lost its HQ. It's not logical anyway. Why would a platoon leader who's never even been inside a tank be able to command a tank platoon? I assume the bug happens because the game engine assumes these tanks are another type of weapons team. I don't think it makes sense to make a point of avoiding this situation, since that would mean keeping these tanks outside the command radius of all infantry commanders. On the other hand, I think it's a bad idea to take advantage of it.

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Why a bad idea? What is going to go wrong? We embrace Borg spotting and the god's eye view of the map so why get into a fuss about this small 'bug'?

Tanks were subordinated to other commanders. There are a few combat reports in Jentz where tank commanders complained about being given orders by ground pounders who had no idea of tank tactics. Hence my point above about tank units taking orders from a ground command unit. Note: For the Germans - This also happens if the ground unit is mounted up in an SPW for example. So given SPW had radios that operated on the same net as the panzers why should'nt a panzer or two take orders from an HQ riding in an SPW?

FWIW bug or not I doubt BFC will changing it any time soon smile.gif

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The logic for the programme, I think, would be in the classification of the members of the "platoon" - a platoon of men, if it has lost its lieutenant, passes up to the captain for command. The platoon of tanks does the same. Independent vehicles miss out.

I came across it playing Wacht an Reim CMETO.

I think its a *cool* , ahem, feature - it probably does have morale effect, but probably not cover. Who wants to fight fair anyway?

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It's always amusing to see what arguments people will come up to rationalize something that doesn't make a lot of sense. smile.gif Just for that reason, let's try this out:

1. If BFC included this as a "feature" rather than a bug, why doesn't it occur during a battle? If I play a 120-turn Battle, it will never occur. If I play an operation of 5 battles, each 20 turns long, it will occur every time. Are we thinking that tank commanders and infantry platoon leaders are getting together while the ammunition is being passed out, to decide on hand signals and the like?

2. Regardless of whether something like this *could* of happened, or *did* happen in some battle or other, in CM it happens every time, in every army. Are people thinking that junior infantry officers in every army (think Russian, Italian, etc.) were trained to command tank platoons?

In Band of Brothers, there is an incident in Holland when Captain Winters "commands" (meaning he argued and cajoled) a couple of Shermans to attack a hull-down King Tiger. Both Shermans were blown away, one rather horribly. Why? Because Winter didn't understand what he was demanding of the Shermans, and (judging by the Ambrose book only), never did understand. And he was considered an outstanding infantry field commander.

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Trying to rationalise something that does make sense is a mug's game. Attempting to shift the perspective of an observer from one viewpoint ("It doesn't make sense!"), to another ("Oh, I see.") is the practical outcome of successful communication. tongue.gif

1. seems like a pretty good scenario - in the operation, the guy with the rank makes the decisions, gives the orders. True, I'd expect the leadership role (in TRW) to pass down in the platoon structure for the armour, so the next senior tank commander would take over the platoon, but CM doesn't model that either.

2. I'm sure junior infantry officers are trained to appreciate the advantage of firepower added to their force - with the right set of circumstances they would positively embrace, every time, the opportunity to gain control over a depleted platoon of tanks. They might even use that addition wisely.

What does happen, all the time, in every army, is the deferment to superior rank and the continued existance of the command structure.

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IMHO we rationalize these things because part of the fun is thinking that moving around these pixelated images in some way corresponds to a reality.

Of course, in reality there are no 40 meter cover arcs, way-points, or orders given at 1 minute intervals. On the other hand, IRL a commander could probably tell the AFVs what ammo to have ready to fire, which we can't do.

So in that sense a "bug" (leading to an "exploit") would be something that lead to behavior beyond plausible reality.

In my opinion, this is on the edge. It would be more interesting if it were reproducible in a scenario. Then one could find some story somewhere of some infantry commander, or upper echelon officer, intervening in the command of some AFV platoon, and make a battle representing that. (Sort of like having the Crack level of expertise, so one can put Whittman in....someone is going to correct me on the spelling)

Personally, I have treated it more as a bug, and an irrelevent one. Maybe....I will make something like my own "House Rule" that I will only use it with, say, a company comander.

But I have so many other issues to worry about, like trying to effectively use thin-skin Russian armor with long command delays, that I doubt I will worry about this issue very long.

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  • 3 weeks later...

This probably is a workaround rather than a bug. However, for what it is worth, the Wehrmacht did have the primary command of most tanks overall in the hands of officers who were not actually in the tanks themselves, although admittedly not down at the platoon level.

Also current doctrine and training in US forces would allow for this at times, as most US armored units, again above platoon level though, answer to officers who are not actually in a tank themselves. Overall, it likely is not an exploit however, as IRL the tanks would have some sort of platoon level command structure left. It is probably a game workaround to cover that without going deeper into which tank has the next highest rank, etc.

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To make this work in a battle you have to save the battle from the AAR screen and load the map with troops in a QB. Then you will see inf commanders taking control of tank platoons that have lost their commanders.

So it acts just like your operations really.

lee

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