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tactics limitors ? Worst 3 in your opinion ?


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Good pre v.1.11 thread...

Several, if not all, of these have been listed but I'm going to mention them yet again because they are spot on...

  • It seems that "non-hiding" units in structures cannot be seen prior to their opening fire. I can roll an AFV fifty meters in front of a structure and the gunner, equipped with magnified optics and a TIS cannot spot a pack of guys clustered in front of the windows even after several minutes. I know structures are intended to offer concealment, but damn. This tends to warp MOUT rather unrealistically.
  • Allow the Stryker "air guard" to button up or at least duck down temporarily. A suicidal version of whack-a-mole doesn't play regardless of "doctrine." Conversely, allow Marines to fight from the troop hatches of the AAV's and LAV's.
  • Lack of ability for the player to restrict main gun use with AFV's (i.e. the defunct "Use Main Gun?" feature). This is especially missed when using various IFV's such as the M2.
  • Infantry should be able to deploy smoke in a direction plotted by the player.
  • Allow the Recon Humvee to make use of the "Target" tool in-game to check LOS. I love that "unsexy" vehicles like this are in the game, why not make them meaningful?
  • Allow teams to "Unaquire" extra items, at least while they are mounted.
  • Allow ESV's to clear mines (BFC has already suggested this will not be included in CMSF, alas...)

If some or all of these issues could be addressed in v.1.11 I would be thrilled.

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Number One tactics-limiting thing for me is inability to fire with certain weapons only. That said, CMSF makes quite an improvement over the CMx1 games with the option of "Target Light". (Though many have pointed out the absence of the "Use Main Gun?" option.)

In playing the scenario "Breakout!" (I can't recall if that one came with CMSF or if I downloaded it from CMMods), I too had the problem of squads effectively in the same place being unable to spot an enemy unit. I found that liberally equipping my scout squads with Javelins and then allowing them time to scan the terrain yielded several BMP-3s knocked out with no casualties to my troops. Once a squad spotted a BMP, it was just a matter of time (less than half a minute) before the squad's Javelin-armed soldier went ahead and used it.

Speaking of units in buildings being un-spot-able.... The scenario "Ambush Tutorial" has no Blue setup zones, so the Blue player has to make do with the default positioning of his units. When the Uncons came swarming down the main street, my forward-most infantry squad came out of hiding on their own and were wiped out, as was the squad in the adjacent building. (The fact that the Uncons suffered 100% casualties was little comfort to the majority of the men in my platoon who were killed or wounded.)

"Un-acquire" would be helpful. Up until a few days ago, I always wondered "Why do my M249-equipped squads always start out with no MG ammo?" But this was because I thought the M249 uses 7.62mm ammo (like the M240); so before dismounting a squad I would have them grab at least 500 rounds of 7.62mm ammo. Then I realized that the M249 uses the same ammo (5.56x45mm) that the M4 and M16 use, hence the seeming lack of MG ammo. Silly me. =P

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No, not at all. Target Light means less firepower put out, no HE munitions. If you wanted heavy firepower without using your HE munitions, you cannot (for infantry). For vehicles, if they have an autocannon and missiles, Target Light means fire the autocannon only; no coax machinegun. Target releases the missiles. So, no coax at all unless the autocannon is out of ammo. With a tank, Target Light means machineguns only (those that are accessible to the crew in their present configuration, be it buttoned or opened). Target means main gun only.

Regards,

Ken

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In general, not being able to specify a number of salvos for indirect fire and not being able to register TRPs for arty, mortars and MGs.

Specifically for realtime, being able to hook a number of actions to a keystroke would be nice. For example you setup a bounding overwatch. The squad A rushes, squad B covers. Once squad A is positioned they have another movement with the caveat of "Wait for Ctrl+1". You wait for squad B to bound ahead and get behind cover, you hit ctrl+1 and squad A executes. Ideally, the player would be able to set up multiple commands among multiple units to one keystroke.

Bonus points if you include "Time on Target" and "At My Command" methods of control for artillery. It would be quite useful, especially AMC combined with the keystroke method above.

But I'd just like to say, not including any of the above would hardly leave the game "broken". It's just difficult to run more than 5 or 6 units effectively in a close-in fight. In practical terms, I wind up focusing a great deal of attention on micromanaging my schwerpunkt while ignoring virtually everything else.

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1) The inability of the TacAI to figure out a covered or concealed route to anywhere.

2) The inability of the TacAI to see that something bad will happen if it continues on a route that has a pile of +20 corpses on it.

3) The ability of the TacAI to show 1) and 2) at the same time.

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1) The inability of the TacAI to figure out a covered or concealed route to anywhere.

2) The inability of the TacAI to see that something bad will happen if it continues on a route that has a pile of +20 corpses on it.

3) The ability of the TacAI to show 1) and 2) at the same time.

Thing is (as far as I am concerned) there are times where you do want your troops to avoid the covered route, or continue into an obvious danger zone - either as part of the plan or because you, as the player, have assessed the situation in a way the tacAI can not. You know the covered route is certainly mined, or you saw an enemy force that can only be moving to shut it off. You know that the unit that killed 20 odd men has had to reposition (or is temporarily blinded by smoke) and have a narrow window to get some men across the open ground.

In short, since the tacAI is never going to make the right decision in all cases, or even most cases, for me this falls under the responsibility of the player.

Yes, it would be nice (in theory - UI usability issues swept under the rug) to be able to nudge the tacAI to putting more or less emphasis on cover when pathfinding, or to set up its logic for reacting during a turn when bad things happen ('run like hell', 'stop and return fire', 'carry on regardless if you possibly can'). But these are things I can work around for the most part, or avoid by being more cautious / anticipating better. Whereas other items listed in the thread are more like "basic things I'd like to be able to do that there is simply no way to do right now".

Of course, that's just my experience of the game. I continue to be surprised at the range of different playstyles people have, and what may regularly be a problem for one may simply never be an issue for another because of how they try to play the game. (For example, the air guard issue for Strykers never bothers me because I almost never have my guys in Strykers when they are likely to be taking fire - I tend to use infantry dismounted and keep the fragile Strykers well out of trouble until their support fire can be used from secure positions).

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I think I didn't explain myself very well.

I'm more or less satisfied with the things the engine can do in terms of orders, types of movement, etc. Not that I wouldn't be jumping in joy if we would get "peeking around corners" for example. Overall, no game killers there for me.

But in the spirit of "limitations that seriously hinder game tactics and realism" (as per the first post) I think that in the single player experience suffers terribly in both grounds because the before mentioned limitations of the TacAI.

Cheers,

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Building on "Chelco"s Post:

The Tac AI seems unable to instill (Particularly with vehicles ) any sense of "Threat Axis" awareness. Time after time a unit while'st trying to follow a movement command will make an absurd foray into enemy line of fire. I have seen vehicles with a move command to stop just inside of belt of trees continue right through (their own line of troops engaging the enemy) complete a 180 degree turn in the open move back into the trees shuffle back and forth ending up a few meters away from their original stop point. Vehicles in a plotted convoy down a road will try to maneuver into a minefield or line of fire, to get around a vehicle that is blown away in front of them. In one WEGO turn I watched the lead Stryker enter a city crossroads being turned into a smoking wreck by a Syrian tank sited way back down the side road: With nerves of steel the next two Strykers suffered the same fate as they attempted to bypass the first corpse and make it across the junction. The fourth Stryker only survived because all the smoke from the burning vehicles screened it - it ended the turn smack in the middle of the junction trying to figure a way round it's mates.

This situational un-awareness is highlighted in WEGO as it can not be instantly corrected. In Real Time if one is looking it can be, and if one is'nt its not a problem as who knows WTF happened - some time later when visiting that part of the battlefield one just sees a pile of wrecks and corpses. (One of the reasons why I hate Real Time)

Having said all this, CMSF is a surprisingly interesting and immersive game that I in no way regret buying Marines and all. ! Yeah but I still prefer WW2.

David

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Trying to summarize the previous posts. Could you rank each of the following ?

problem for overall plan

===========================

In open ground, impassable terrain is unclear. This can kill the best plans when you realize that this slope is actually a cliff...

Night vision. It is unclear (no pun...) what is visible with and without night google.

artillery screen which does not allow the player to know how long or how many shells will land or how many missions can be called in; similar issue with air support which obscures the types of weapons, how many runs are available, etc. All these would be known to the FAC calling them in.

problem for a single unit

=========================

In MOUT, tracked vehicles can not cross rubble (if the street is under enemy AT fire,the slow path via the rubble may be the best choice)

In MOUT, squad can not enter/exist building via windows ( (if the door is under sniper/MG fire window entrance/exit is the best choice)

In MOUT, vehicles hiding "just behind the corner" can not be heard.

Units located in the same tile can't share spotted targets.

Inability to place infantry smoke grenades.

Not being able to use or hold a certain weapon/ammo

Inability to split Syrian squads.

Peaking around corners

Allow the Stryker "air guard" to button up or at least duck down temporarily. A suicidal version of whack-a-mole doesn't play regardless of "doctrine." Conversely, allow Marines to fight from the troop hatches of the AAV's and LAV's.

Allow the Recon Humvee to make use of the "Target" tool in-game to check LOS. I love that "unsexy" vehicles like this are in the game, why not make them meaningful?

Allow teams to "Unaquire" extra items, at least while they are mounted.

positive advantage

==================

Dust Clouds on unspotted Units

Visible Trenches

In MOUT, Lack of friendly small arms fire.

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Lots of good stuff here. Many, however, I don't see falling into the "tactics limitors" category. Refinement, I think, is a really good word for most of the things I've seen posted here. Unfortunately for us, we could refine CM:SF for years and still have more things on the list. Trying to simulate the real world is, well, kinda difficult to do :D

One quick comment since a bunch of you have been talking about Target and Target Light. It's far more subtle than what c3k wrote above:

No, not at all. Target Light means less firepower put out, no HE munitions. If you wanted heavy firepower without using your HE munitions, you cannot (for infantry). For vehicles, if they have an autocannon and missiles, Target Light means fire the autocannon only; no coax machinegun. Target releases the missiles. So, no coax at all unless the autocannon is out of ammo. With a tank, Target Light means machineguns only (those that are accessible to the crew in their present configuration, be it buttoned or opened). Target means main gun only.

The TacAI has far more flexibility than this. For example, telling a tank to "TARGET" does not mean it won't use its MGs nor that it absolutely will use its cannon. TARGET LIGHT, on the other hand, ensures it uses its MGs and does not use its cannon.

What people really want, even if they haven't said as much, is the ability to toggle on/off specific weapons systems in a deliberate way for a very specific situation and then have the TacAI do its best for the rest of the time. This is far more complicated than it seems since some vehicles have 4 or 5 weapons systems, not to mention ammo types.

Look at the BMP-3 for example. It has basically 5 major weapons choices:

100mm main gun

30mm auto cannon

ATGM (fired from main gun)

Coax MG

Hull MGs x2

Now think of how many combos of these five weapons systems can be "authorized" at any one time. 30mm cannon, ATGM only, and MGs... Coax only... all three MGs only... auto cannon only... auto cannon and MGs only... everything but the ATGM... etc., etc., etc. In other words, "Use Main Gun?" option doesn't improve things any.

We do have a UI design to override the TacAI, however we never had the time to implement it. Because WW2 doesn't present these sorts of possible choices to the player, the idea has been shelved for now. Hopefully it will be implemented for CM:SF 2, when once again we'll have weapons systems with a ton of weaponry.

Infantry is slightly different. What players want more control of are the special stuff that is in limited supply. Things like deciding when to use rockets on non-vehicle targets and when to save them no matter how dug in the enemy infantry is. This sort of thing will persist into CM: Normandy (Panzerfausts being the easiest one to picture) so hopefully we can implement the UI needed to do that. If not, however, I think the game will not suffer too much without it. CMx1 had the same weaponry and I think the TacAI did a decent job of managing those weapons in most people's eyes.

Personally, I think the current system is pretty good. It's got the plus of being very easy to use and generally the TacAI makes good choices. However, I don't denny that it would be better if there were a way to ensure that certain weapons systems were/weren't used in very specific situations.

Steve

Having "Use Main Gun?" pop up when targeting doesn't

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Because WW2 doesn't present these sorts of possible choices to the player, the idea has been shelved for now.

The only exceptions I can recall were the M3 Grant/Lee tank (with its 75mm sponson gun, 37mm turret gun, coax MG and cupola MG) and the couple of tank types used by the French which had multiple turrets. For CMx2 WW2, though, these tanks would be non-entities since they were used either much earlier in the war and/or on separate fronts. Thus these exceptions actually 'prove the rule' regarding the points you made, Steve.

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I'd like to clarify something that Steve posted a little bit upstream. I will not speak for others, but one of the annoyances in CMSF may not be getting communicated clearly back to BF.C.

Earlier, by Steve:

Lots of good stuff here. Many, however, I don't see falling into the "tactics limitors" category. Refinement, I think, is a really good word for most of the things I've seen posted here. Unfortunately for us, we could refine CM:SF for years and still have more things on the list. Trying to simulate the real world is, well, kinda difficult to do :D

One quick comment since a bunch of you have been talking about Target and Target Light. It's far more subtle than what c3k wrote above:

The TacAI has far more flexibility than this. For example, telling a tank to "TARGET" does not mean it won't use its MGs nor that it absolutely will use its cannon. TARGET LIGHT, on the other hand, ensures it uses its MGs and does not use its cannon.

What people really want, even if they haven't said as much, is the ability to toggle on/off specific weapons systems in a deliberate way for a very specific situation and then have the TacAI do its best for the rest of the time. This is far more complicated than it seems since some vehicles have 4 or 5 weapons systems, not to mention ammo types.

Look at the BMP-3 for example. It has basically 5 major weapons choices:

100mm main gun

30mm auto cannon

ATGM (fired from main gun)

Coax MG

Hull MGs x2

Now think of how many combos of these five weapons systems can be "authorized" at any one time. 30mm cannon, ATGM only, and MGs... Coax only... all three MGs only... auto cannon only... auto cannon and MGs only... everything but the ATGM... etc., etc., etc. In other words, "Use Main Gun?" option doesn't improve things any.

We do have a UI design to override the TacAI, however we never had the time to implement it. Because WW2 doesn't present these sorts of possible choices to the player, the idea has been shelved for now. Hopefully it will be implemented for CM:SF 2, when once again we'll have weapons systems with a ton of weaponry.

Infantry is slightly different. What players want more control of are the special stuff that is in limited supply. Things like deciding when to use rockets on non-vehicle targets and when to save them no matter how dug in the enemy infantry is. This sort of thing will persist into CM: Normandy (Panzerfausts being the easiest one to picture) so hopefully we can implement the UI needed to do that. If not, however, I think the game will not suffer too much without it. CMx1 had the same weaponry and I think the TacAI did a decent job of managing those weapons in most people's eyes.

Personally, I think the current system is pretty good. It's got the plus of being very easy to use and generally the TacAI makes good choices. However, I don't denny that it would be better if there were a way to ensure that certain weapons systems were/weren't used in very specific situations.

Steve

Having "Use Main Gun?" pop up when targeting doesn't

I believe the big communication shortfall is this: authorizing specific weapons, and only those weapons is NOT the problem. The problem in CMx2 is that the TacAI fires TOO MANY of the weapons.

Hence, my repeated requests for a "HOLD" option on certain weapons. The squad leader (who I play) could certainly control whether only one Javelin gets fired. Or, if the squad is told to TARGET, he could order NO Javelins to be fired. Yet, the game doesn't allow that. You either accept TARGET LIGHT or you TARGET and fire off all the rockets the squad is capable of.

A HOLD order, which resets to a normal mode whenever the TARGET is cancelled or changed, would solve that.

Likewise with the BMP-3 example that Steve mentions. Let me HOLD the ATGM. Or, for a Bradley, HOLD the TOW and HOLD the 25mm Bushmaster so that only the coax will fire.

If the TARGET changes, all the HOLDs disappear.

If my BMP-3 is told to TARGET some houses with no known enemy, I would rather spray them with machinegun fire than waste some of the other ordnance.

Hence, I would HOLD the other weapons.

In the midst of my WeGo turn, my poor BMP, busy spraying down the houses, suddenly spots a threat. Oh no! Let's call it a roving Stryker.

Well, the TacAI already has an algorithm in place which weighs that threat. Hopefully my BMP-3 would drop the TARGET on the houses (assuming no cover arc which would be a tool to keep that fire going), and switch to the Stryker.

At that moment, when the TacAI switches targets, all the HOLDs on the BMP-3's weapons would disappear: poor Stryker.

That is how I envision that HOLD system to work. The default would be no HOLD at all; you select a TARGET or TARGET LIGHT and the game works just like it does now, in v1.10. However, if, after designating a target, you hold the mouse cursor over the weapon in question and right-click, a bold red HOLD would appear over that weapon.

I leave the coding to BF.C (I could help with font styles and sizes and colors for the "HOLD"). :)

This obviates the need for "Use Main Gun" and the issues Steve presents about that. It also keeps the game/UI moving in an easy direction. The default option is that no HOLD is used. ONLY in the specific cases that a player wants to retain some ordnance is the extra step of right-clicking used. And, that gets erased automatically on a target shift.

I hope this clarifies my position on the debate about weapons use and somehow helps this series improve.

Regards,

Ken

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Lack of control over different guns will affect WW2 all right.

Even the German tanks have two MGs and a main gun, and the Americans might have a second gun or an additional .50cal.

The .50cal in particular should have some control mechanism since it's a) low on ammo and B) useful against light armor. It is hence in the interest of the player to use the coax and bow MGs against unarmored targets.

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Thanks for the support. I know I've sounded a bit strident about this issue, but I (obviously) think that implementing some form of this idea would greatly boost the CMx2 series.

For the record, the absence of a "HOLD" (or its equivalent) does not make CMx2 broken or fundementally flawed.

As noted, this first came up when using infantry TARGET commands and NOT wanting to blow off all the special equipment, yet wanting the increased number of rounds on target that TARGET gives vice the reduced number under TARGET LIGHT.

It was then magnified by my realization that the thousands of rounds of 7.62mm the Bradley carries are useless to the player until you run out of Bushmaster ammo.

Some said I was making a mountain out of a molehill. My response was, and continues to be, that this is an issue affecting many other vehicles and infantry units. WWII tanks with their various machineguns being a case in point. As would the Grant/Lee; 75mm, 37mm, .50 cal., .30 cal. weapons all being represented on that vehicle.

As to coding, I have no idea how difficult it would be! It seems to me that a HOLD on a weapon system could be interpreted by the TacAI as simply meaning that the weapon is out of ammo/broken/not present _for_that_particular_target_. As soon as the target changes (for whatever reason) all HOLD's are lifted, giving the weapon normal functionality under the TacAI.

The biggest issue, it seems to me, isn't how to implement it for a HUMAN player, but how would the TacAI issue its own HOLD orders when playing against the computer?

Any ideas for when the TacAI shouldn't use the "biggest boom" available to it?

If others complain that this is too much player-centric control, the very way it would be implemented would give them the freedom NOT to use it.

Thanks,

Ken

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This is far more complicated than it seems since some vehicles have 4 or 5 weapons systems, not to mention ammo types.

Look at the BMP-3 for example. It has basically 5 major weapons choices:

100mm main gun

30mm auto cannon

ATGM (fired from main gun)

Coax MG

Hull MGs x2

Now think of how many combos of these five weapons systems can be "authorized" at any one time. 30mm cannon, ATGM only, and MGs... Coax only... all three MGs only... auto cannon only... auto cannon and MGs only... everything but the ATGM... etc., etc., etc. In other words, "Use Main Gun?" option doesn't improve things any.

Well what about a little Box to Pop Up on key where u can just set or unset weapons allowed to fire?

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Well, we do have ammo count for specific ammunition kinds in vehicles, as HEI and API rounds for auto cannons and stuff like that, so wouldn't it be possible to make that UI clickable, so that we can, directly on the ammo (or special weapons display for infantry) toggle if the unit should be allowed to use a certain weapon/ammunition or not. It doesn't need lots of extra stuff on the UI, it isn't hard to code.

The biggest downside would be that players can forget to toggle a certain weapon or ammunition when they want to use it, so that they don't get the desirable effect. The controls could thus be more user friendly, but the above would definitely work.

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I don't like the idea of getting too much control over individual weapons. There is the danger of going to the Steel Panthers 2 extreme, where you could deactivate any weapon on a squad or vehicle that you wanted.

While cool as such, it didn't work very well if, say, you had deactivated your MBT's main gun to save shells when it was pinning some infantry positions, but then on opponent's turn an enemy MBT showed up and your tank would still follow the limitation you set and not use the main gun.

Based on that I believe it's wiser to concentrate on refining the AI's general use of weapons, instead of adding a new feature which would be broken from the get go and then need to be fixed.

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