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The scenario designer can designate units, either attacker or defender, as being "spotted". This allows CM to simulate, for the first time, prebattle intelligence in a very direct way. Here's how it works...

Scenario designer selects unit and toggles it to Spotted (probably different degrees of certainty). That's all there is to it!

When playing a battle the Defender sets up first. If it is a Meeting Engagement, one of the sides will be chosen (randomly?) to set up as if the Defender. The Attacker gets into the Setup Phase and whadda know... some kind God has exposed some of the Defender's units! How nice! Now the Attacker can deploy his forces with sure knowledge that the things spotted exist and are right where he sees them.

On the Defender's first turn the tables are turned. Now all the Attacking untis that were flagged as Spotted are shown, as well as any his own units have spotted on their own. This means the Defender gets to formulate his battle plan before issuing a single order.

On the Attacker's first turn he gets to see all the unit Spotted during Setup and anything his deployed units can see. This allows him to start his attack knowing, to some degree, what he is about to get into.

That's it! This should be quite a fun thing to play around with!

Obviously the scenario designer does not HAVE to flag units for prebattle Spotting. This is just an option. However, the pre Turn 1 spotting is automatic and happens all the time every time.

Steve

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WOW

OK

I think that is Pretty impressive

I think that might change the opening move "dynamics" of most battles!

interesting!

Would this system or new feature some how help "hint" the AI?

a scenario designer could set this up and desigante the Defender as the most appropriate AI opponent and then basically leave the attacker in a compromised position on start up. (meaning many attacking units are pre flagged as SPOTTED!)

Sorry I am confused

BUT what if the attacking player puts a unit OUT of LOS of the defender?? LIKE on the other side of a hill or something?

Does the Defender still see that unit WHERE EVER the attacker places it (EVEN out of the LOS of the defender?)

AGAIN WOW!!...

That one could be a VERY powerful feature for the AI as an attacker or defender as the human player "might" think the AI is Cheating becaues the AI as the pre battle spotting info from the " already spotted flag" (designation) being set on the human players units???

hmmmm

Could lead to calls from the newbies that the AI is cheating!

(but I am sure they have figured all these questions into the "Master Plan" he he) :D

very interesting

I can't wait to see the first Demo Scenario that features this new pre battle spotting feature, the human player will GET SMOKED by the AI and not even know what hit them! (I don't know if that kind of demo sells more games, but it sure would be a shocker and a surprise to NEW players! AGAIN watch for claims of "THE AI CHEATS!!! :mad: )

-tom w

[ August 25, 2005, 05:49 PM: Message edited by: aka_tom_w ]

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Originally posted by Battlefront.com:

The scenario designer can designate units, either attacker or defender, as being "spotted". This allows CM to simulate, for the first time, prebattle intelligence in a very direct way.

Cool! :cool:

I don't suppose there's any way to implement this in QBs though (assuming those are still in the game)?

Michael

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Originally posted by Battlefront.com:

On the Defender's first turn ... all the Attacking untis that were flagged as Spotted are shown, as well as any his own units have spotted on their own. ...

On the Attacker's first turn he gets to see all the unit Spotted during Setup and anything his deployed units can see. ...

Nice. Elegant. smile.gif

When does each side stop seeing units that were flagged as Spotted, assuming they are otherwise out of LOS.

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Originally posted by Michael Emrys:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Battlefront.com:

The scenario designer can designate units, either attacker or defender, as being "spotted". This allows CM to simulate, for the first time, prebattle intelligence in a very direct way.

Cool! :cool:

I don't suppose there's any way to implement this in QBs though (assuming those are still in the game)?

Michael </font>

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Does the Defender still see that unit WHERE EVER the attacker places it (EVEN out of the LOS of the defender?)
Yes. This simulates prebattle intel that might have nothing to do with LOS. For example, aerial observation, spies, intercepted radio transmissions, etc.

After the initial spotting, then LOS kicks in. So the Attacker during Setup will see various things no matter what the LOS is, but as soon as he hits "Go!" all bets are off. He might not have LOS to that thing and by the time he spots it again it might be somewhere totally different. The only Intel you can rely upon are fixed fortifications and the fact that if you see it you know he has it. Other than that... you're on your own :D

Steve

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We could do something for Quick Battles. It would just be a simple "this side gets to spot x% of the enemy's units, this side gets to spot y%". The choice of which units to spot or not spot would be randomly determined, perhaps with a tad bit of logic (i.e. fixed stuff has a higher chance).

We can't afford to make this anything more than a "simple" additional feature, so let's not get carried away with 1001 ways to make this more complicated :D

Steve

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Now thats FOG of WAR!!

Sounds Great

But are there "False Positives?"

"After the initial spotting, then LOS kicks in. So the Attacker during Setup will see various things no matter what the LOS is, but as soon as he hits "Go!" all bets are off. He might not have LOS to that thing and by the time he spots it again it might be somewhere totally different. The only Intel you can rely upon are fixed fortifications and the fact that if you see it you know he has it. Other than that... you're on your own"

-Steve

Like you have pre-battle intel of a spotted unit that is NOT present on the battle field anywhere. (counter intel intel he he) ?

-tom w

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Originally posted by Battlefront.com:

We could do something for Quick Battles. It would just be a simple "this side gets to spot x% of the enemy's units, this side gets to spot y%". The choice of which units to spot or not spot would be randomly determined, perhaps with a tad bit of logic (i.e. fixed stuff has a higher chance).

I'd also suggest that you (well, the program) 'clumps' the spotted units together in some fashion, so you (the player receiving the intel) gets fairly good intel about one section of the line, rather than spotting x% of the enemies force across the eitire front.

You might use HQs ... for example; Lt Snooks is randomly picked to be the spotted unit, and all units under his command (brown lines) are spotted too. Everyone else stays hidden.

Regards

JonS

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Originally posted by JonS:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Battlefront.com:

We could do something for Quick Battles. It would just be a simple "this side gets to spot x% of the enemy's units, this side gets to spot y%". The choice of which units to spot or not spot would be randomly determined, perhaps with a tad bit of logic (i.e. fixed stuff has a higher chance).

I'd also suggest that you (well, the program) 'clumps' the spotted units together in some fashion, so you (the player receiving the intel) gets fairly good intel about one section of the line, rather than spotting x% of the enemies force across the eitire front.

You might use HQs ... for example; Lt Snooks is randomly picked to be the spotted unit, and all units under his command (brown lines) are spotted too. Everyone else stays hidden.

Regards

JonS </font>

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Nice feature Steve.

But just to make sure I get it right, will it be dependant on player FoW setting ? or better yet, an option ?

I mean, wouldn't it be best to either allow for FoW to be active on these before-the-battle spotting occurences, or at least be set by the player when he starts a battle ? so as to keep a measure of uncertainty ? That way a spotted Tiger or bunker could or could not be exactly *there* or *that*. (Edit: ...so as to simulate varying quality in intellignence... that way the player/designer could simply set an "intelligence factor" from say, "poor" to "excellent")

I'm pretty sure this is what you have in mind, but just to clarify...

Cheers

[ August 25, 2005, 07:14 PM: Message edited by: Tarkus ]

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Jon,

I'd also suggest that you (well, the program) 'clumps' the spotted units together in some fashion, so you (the player receiving the intel) gets fairly good intel about one section of the line, rather than spotting x% of the enemies force across the eitire front.
Besides this being the type of thing we aren't going to get ourselves roped into doing ;) , it isn't any more realistic than having randomly spotted units all over the place. In fact, it is more likely that you'd know about a unit here and there than a whole bunch in one spot.

Steve

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yes good question

I too find my self uncertain of how the FoW setting would impact or influence this feature.

The player could be confounded by mulitple levels of conflicting FoW intel AND pre -battle spotting if the concept of what is known, what can be known, what is unknown and what cannot be deduced from what is observed is NOT clearly understood by the player during the set up.

OTHERWISE some folks might suggest the AI is cheating or the game is broken or lieing to me (or some such crap because they did not read the manual RTFM :D )

-tom w

Originally posted by Tarkus:

Nice feature Steve.

But just to make sure I get it right, will it be dependant on player FoW setting ? or better yet, an option ?

I mean, wouldn't it be best to either allow for FoW to be active on these before-the-battle spotting occurences, or at least be set by the player when he starts a battle ? so as to keep a measure of uncertainty ? That way a spotted Tiger or bunker could or could not be exactly *there* or *that*.

I'm pretty sure this is what you have in mind, but just to clarify...

Cheers

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Originally posted by Michael Dorosh:

From a gameplay standpoint, that kind of kills the suspense. Wouldn't it be more exciting if you didn't know whether those spotted units across your front were an entire platoon, or just one squad each from several platoons?

Well, I see what you mean, but disagree. Consider it this way: You know that there is a platoon-sized unit over *there*. Is that the cornerstone of a company posn, or a lone pn on outpost duty. You know a lot about one piece of the picture, and have to infer or fight for the the rest.

Your way, you potentially end up knowing a little about all the enemies positions: 'ok, we've got a unit there, there, two there, and another back there. Well, he's not likely to have scattered units on their own, so it looks like two pns fwd and one in depth.'

BTW ... I'm assuming that you'll know there is 'something' there, and some generic info (infantry, spt weapon, lt veh, hvy veh, etc), but not whether you're looking at an elite section of 12 fit men here, a pn HQ with 4 veterans there, etc.

It seems unlikely that intelligence be able to ascertain that x group of trenches here and y group of trenches there are from 1 Platoon, A Company, 2nd Battalion of "X" Regiment....
I agree. That is very unlikely. See my comments preceeding your quoted words. The HQ example I gave previously was merely an expedient way of clumping the spotted units together in a geographical way. There are other ways to do geographical clumping though. Perhaps 'buy' spotting capability, which allows you to designate a cicle on the map to gain intel about, annd which then displays x% of the units therein.

I guess it depends on whethr you think intel assets (of whatever type) are distributed uniformly and evenly across the front (as Steve seems to think), or used as more of a focussed resource (which I do).

In practice, though, both approaches are used. It's a spectrum, and I believe the weight is at the 'focus' end. A patrol that goes out to observe the enemy is generally given a speific place to go observe (that hill, that wood, that bldg, that village, etc) would watch for all enemy acty in that area. An enemy unit that left itself open to aerial photography would tend to focus attention on itself and from that attention give all of itself away. Etc.

I don't think a patrol would cruise across the entire frontage of the enemy, spotting one unit, thinking that was enough, then moving on 100m to see what else it could see.

OTOH, since I hardly ever play QBs I don't really care all that much, either way :D Still, the placeable 'intel circles' idea could be used under player control in scenarios too.

*shrug*

Jon

[ August 25, 2005, 07:50 PM: Message edited by: JonS ]

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I like how you guys skipped over my disclaimer about how far we are going to take this feature :D Seriously though... we could spend a week solid coding up all sorts of cool little options and special case conditions. But that is probably true of a few dozen ideas. We therefore have to limit what we do or the game will never be done. What we can do is add to features like this over time.

Steve

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Jon, I tend to agree with you. Depending on what sort of intel gathering method was used you'd get a different type of picture back of the enemy. However, remember that we're talking about frontages of only a few hundred meters (usually). It is not unreasonable to assume that you'd get a little bit of info from a lot of different places. Company HQ over here spotted a bunker, patrol from 1st Platoon sees a tank over there, patrol from 2nd platoon sees bunch of infantry in front of it, etc. Without doing some major coding effort to simulate stuff like this we're stuck with something that is a bit abstracted. But then again, the whole game is abstracted to some extent ;)

Steve

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* nods *

Yes, scale is important. I suppose, then, it depends on what you think the mostly likely size of maps and number of units will be. I'm thinking of frontages around the 1,000m mark.

Also, my gut reaction is that being able to see units across the entire front will kind of spoil suspense. It will depend on the x in x% of course, but even at fairly low %s I think that using 'even spread' you will get a fairly accurate picture of the enemies overall dispositions.

Would it be hard to set it up as able to do either 'even spread' or 'hq-based clumping', then have the engine randomly pick one each time it's used, so a player won't know which was used - though you'll proabbly be able to tell.

Don't worry, I know I'm descending into details, and don't really expect an answer ;) But this touches on one of the other things I'm hoping you'll beef up for CMx2, and that is more randomness and variation throughout the game, including things like visibility though woods or fog changing from turn to turn, some buildings been essentially indestructible for no apparent reason, times to move through obstacles varying from one unit to the next (for units of the same type), raes of fire varying, reload times varying, etc etc. And with the bell-curves for units becoming taller (more concentrated about the centre) with experience, but still allowing Elite to do something as dumb as a Conscript, and vice versa (even if very unlikely), and both having the same 'average' time to complete activities.

Crikey. That got long quick. I guess like this forum, and the 680 posts in it already, it's a good example of the pent-up interest in this game finally finding an outlet smile.gif

Regards

JonS

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Originally posted by JonS:

Crikey. That got long quick. I guess like this forum, and the 680 posts in it already, it's a good example of the pent-up interest in this game finally finding an outlet smile.gif

Regards

JonS

It's like lifting up Salma Hayek's dress and finding Penelope Cruz and a pizza under there too.

So much to think about!

-dale

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