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The Command vehicle - useless or important?


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I have used the Mercury Command vehicle quite a lot, but I think it's not effective enough as a 'system component'.

Let's look at the benefits:

You can:

- Fire 'off-board' artillery.

- Place turrets and jammers during the game.

- Extract turrets and jammers and return them to the pool for redeployment.

I think the individual vehicle is fine as it is. The gun, armour and speed are reasonable for a command-type vehicle.

But where are the command benefits?

Communication between players are not obviously helped, nor is there more information available when a CMD vehicle is used.

I'm trying to think of possible improvements to the Command functionality without crippling the team too much if you don't use a CMD track (which would be the easiest route). Right now, I can use a CMD track at start, drop arty and place some turrets. After this I switch to a Hurricane and drive around blowing things up until there is another volley of artillery available, switch back to CMD and so forth....

I can't get away from the feeling that the Command vehicle should be much more important for team work than it currently is.

In addition to this, you get somewhat crippled if anyone is voted CMDR. If there is, individual player can't get resupply, they have to request it from the commander.

What do you other players think? Is my analysis correct? Do you have any suggestion on how to give a "Command bonus" to the team that uses one, without crippling the other team too much?

In contemporary warfare, command vehicles are usally seen as high-priority targets. In DT, I don't feel that you don't lose anything particular if it's destroyed.

M4 Command Track - Generation T (Mercury)

The Mercury is a mobile command & control center. The electromagnetic spectrum of the modern battlefield is ablaze with noisy signals caused not only by enemy jamming but also by the weapons and anti-matter fuel cells used by forces in the conflict. Effective command & control must, therefore, always be done from the front, within the short radius that fast, reliable communications can occur.

The Mercury is packed with powerful, redundant communications systems, ranging from traditional neutrino emitter/receivers all the way down to physical message torpedoes and ground induction devices which can communicate through vibration frequencies in the ground itself. These various systems are used in concert as circumstances dictate so that the Mercury is continually in touch with local friendly forces and with the intel reported by threat assessment AI systems among those forces.

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i think that when you're in the command vehicle, then on the map you can see all enemies that were spotted by some of your teammates. this can be pretty usefull, but if you have good teammates they should report enemies anyway.

i'm not sure if loosing 1 battle capable player to the command vehicle is worth it. the command vehicle is pretty good for defense in the ice map base, but generally i think other combat vehicles are more usefull (especially in the attack).

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I think you can see all spotted enemies even in a "normal" vehicle.

I agree with you, a vehicle with more firepower is probably more important. The ability to drop jammers and turrets are countered somewhat by the accuracy of the bots when the shoot at drop ships (or the inablity of drop ships to do evasive manouvers)

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This is what the manual tells us about Command and control:


The basic mechanics of DropTeam involve driving and shooting with a single vehicle.

However, its real core is in the coordinated tactics of a team. Effective team tactics depend on strong leadership. This section explains DropTeams command and control features features that allow you to manage all of the units, players and bots on a team in an effective, tactical way.


Each team may elect one player to be the teams commander. The team commander coordinates the actions of his team mates, has sole control over his teams support assets such as artillery and air support, and has control over all deployable items for his team.

A player can be promoted to become the teams commander by popular vote. To initiate a vote to make a player the team commander, press <ESC> to open the Options Window and click the Promote button. You will be prompted to pick a player from a list of all players on your team. All players on your team will then be prompted to vote yes or

no to promote the selected player to team commander. If a majority of the team votes yes, then the selected player becomes the team commander.

It is usually a good idea to use the quiet time of the deployment phase to decide who is going to be team commander. If you want to win, it is vital to have an effective commander. Without one, your team will simply be a lot of individuals pointlessly driving around and shooting. With one, your team has the potential to be a coordinated military force.

You can always see who is currently the team commander by pressing <ESC> and looking at the Options Window. If a team has a commander, then that players name will have the tag -CMDR appended to it.


When a team has no commander, then anyone on the team is allowed to perform any of the actions normally performed by a commander. Once a team has a commander, then only the commander is allowed to perform certain actions. Those actions are:


  • Drop any deployable item</font>
  • Place mines</font>
  • Issue orders to players or bots</font>
  • Set the drop instructions for players or bots</font>
  • Take control of bot-controlled units</font>
  • Call in fire missions, smoke missions, EMP missions, or resupply
  • Create waypoints</font>

So as an example, before a team has a commander, anyone on the team can create waypoints. Once someone is promoted to the role of team commander, only that player can create waypoints.

Therefore, many of the command and control features of DropTeam can be used as described in this section even if your team does not have a commander. Having a commander simply places all of these features into a single players hands so that he can focus on the job of tactical control rather than splitting his attention between that and the busy intensity of direct combat.

Having a dedicated commander is actually limiting! You get restrictions but no appearant gain.
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i'm not sure if loosing 1 battle capable player to the command vehicle is worth it.
My problem exactly. I try to fight in it, but it's armored like the tempest... it's constantly taking damage. Many times I think I'll just be more general use in an apollo.

Ground turrets generally don't do much (and are killed very quickly - should they be smaller as far as targeting?), but the jammers are fairly indispensible once you've got a nice field covered. Probably because the bots don't shoot at 'em. The ground turrets will start becoming useful if you go through extremes to protect them ('hull down', jammed, under point defense, shooting at max range - 5000m or less), but even then it just takes a jammer or an ion to ruin everything. Add another +3 for the enemy. Can I attach a few of these to the roof of my thor?

I think the number one reason to always have someone in the command track is for exact timing of the EMP for cutter runs and for newly spotted but extremely dangerous defensive positions. I can't stand it when people drop the command track just to spam both the emp and the fire mission at the same target - what, are you worried they'll get away?

I actually like the support ship only being availible to the voted commander - the point defense on that is one the single greatest assets for attackers, period, and many players don't seem to realize that. Practically a free ride versus ATGM (including the ice AA tower), mortars, hurricanes, long range 120mm, and anything else that may prevent a drop, especially when combined with a jammer. Far too valuable to have some lone guy parked with an artillery piece hogging it up while uselessly shooting at an antiprojectile tower.

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In non-command vehicles, you do *not* see enemies spotted by others. While in a command vehicle, you *do* see enemies spotted by others. If you're actively playing the role of commander in a hands-on way, telling your team mates where to move and what to do, then you need this information. Even a good team that's constantly calling out their sightings of enemy units to you is vastly inferior to realtime update of those enemy units on the tac display, mini-map, and HUD. This is doubly true for effective use of artillery.

If you're playing the role of a more "hands off" commander, where you're basically letting the whole team run amok but ask you for help occasionally, then this information is far less useful. In this case, you might indeed be better off in a more conventional fighting vehicle. There's nothing wrong with this, but it shouldn't be surprising that a command vehicle is not useful when no one is really commanding.

Having a dedicated commander is actually limiting! You get restrictions but no appearant gain.
The restrictions are the gain. If you're really going to execute a PLAN, then you don't want "just any schmuck" wasting the next Resupply or fire mission on a target *he* thinks is important but that doesn't help with the plan. Now you've lost your fire mission for 5 to 7 minutes just because Private Jones wanted to really stick it to a single enemy Shrike in a corner of the map. You don't pay Private Jones to think...that's *your* job.
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Originally posted by ClaytoniousRex:

In non-command vehicles, you do *not* see enemies spotted by others.

But I can drop a mortar vehicle and shoot indirect fire at targets I do not have line of sight to.

Are we discussing the same thing? I'll have to take a look at this.

Added: Do this info show up in non-command vehicles? This could be the obvious benefit of having a command vehicle on your team, without crippling too much if you don't have it.

Added 2: You get more info when inside the command vehicle. Maybe this additional info should be available to all as a "command bonus"?

I agree about "just any schmuck" wasting plans. But they mostly do it by aimless turret spamming at the start. "yeah, I'll put every turret in one place inside the base, that'll show'em! :rolleyes:

Maybe we are to few human players to see the benefits? If you have 2-3 human players on your team, a fighting - not command - vehicle seems like the best choice.

[ April 30, 2006, 03:27 AM: Message edited by: Kurtz ]

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I've checked the difference, and my earlier statements were wrong. There is a difference in the amount of information avalible in command- and "normal" vehicles.

Speaking of sensors, has anyone found use for them? Their range (seen on Tac Display) seem very short, and they are big fat targets for the bots. It seems as if you can't detect enemies without the enemy seeing the sensor. Maybe other terrain would be better for sensor use.

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It's surprising that the bots don't fire at jammers (or sensors). But that could be changed anytime, I guess.

If you keep still in your vehicle near a bot, there's a chance it won't shoot at you. At least as long as it has more important (in its mind) targets to fight.

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