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Scout teams--? a problem


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Battlefront, you may want to work on some code on this.

Even though, I will bet, you do not want to.

Scout teams can wander hundreds of meters from their squad? Really. That makes them like the CM1 sniper teams (which you appropriately nerfed). They should stay, absolutely, within some range of the orignial squad.

In the desert in modern warfare, a couple of guys with a bang-bang rifle were likely useless and dead.

But here, even with relative spotting, such rogue units can "peek" at the opponent.

I have been a bit concerned about the squad splitting. OK, you can convince me it was historical. But a team should not be able to go back to Brooklyn to order a pizza.

Oh, I am wrong. Glad to here it....please, start the incoming barrage.

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I agree there are very few restrictions imposed on the player, its certainly arguable that that is a good idea. Even splitting a squad three ways could be seen as a tad unrealistic. However, these splitting effects do make up for the overly dense squads and allow some kind of sub-squad tactics if that is your flavour of micromanagement.

But even in the real deal I don't think its unrealistic for scouts to be couple of hundred metres in front of their squad, maybe even out of sight sometimes.

If they make contact they can fire a rifle shot as a signal, or blow a whistle.

Having a scout team within schmeisser range rather negates the usefulness of them. Their job was to "go down that road until someone shoots at you" and save the rest of the squad being cut down in an ambush.

I hope that isn't as combative an answer as you seem to be expecting??

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Yeah, gotta disagree with the Scout thing. The whole point was to have them range ahead far enough that if they got into trouble the rest of the Platoon wasn't in trouble too. Yet not so far ahead that they couldn't get back valuable information to the Platoon before the information was of no value.

Obviously this can be taken to extremes. But so can pretty much anything in the game when you think about it. Should two tanks of the same platoon go hundreds of meters apart form each other? Should you be able to have one Squad work a whole flank on its own? Would 81mm Mortars march up front with the rifle units? Would an empty Halftrack go racing around behind the enemy to distract his AT assets?

So the question here is where to draw the line, then how do we draw the line? Is 200m too much? Or is it 60m? Does this vary based on terrain? How about weather? Time of day? If the side is Attacker or Defender? What happens if you have a unit pinned down and you can't maneuver another unit because it's arbitrarily tied to that pinned unit?

Oh the pain and misery for us only starts there :) And for players it would only get worse than that.

There is no mechanism in the game, or any CM game for that matter, to restrict the player's ability to move a unit based on anything other than what it is physically capable of doing on its own. Sure, we penalize being out of C2, but that doesn't prevent anything.

Which is the long way of saying... like so many other things, it's up to the player to use units in their optimized, historically realistic ways. Under most circumstances, most of the time, unrealistic dispersion of units should result in less than optimal results. Ultimately that is the most important thing the game can do.

Don't get me wrong. If there was a solid way to penalize moving stuff around way more than they should in real life, we'd contemplate it. But the existing stuff is all we feel is practical.

Steve

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Battlefront, you may want to work on some code on this.

Even though, I will bet, you do not want to.

Oh, I am wrong. Glad to here it....please, start the incoming barrage.

LOL Incoming!!!!!

Seriously though why do we automatically assume that any gamey tactic we can come up with is automatically a problem for battlefront? I would assume the opposite, look for like minded opponents who shy away from just doing anything they want because it is possible. I for one would oppose any change in unit behavior as it would likely penalize even those who do try and keep things in a more realistic bent. The problem here is player behavior (or at least your desire to play a certain way), not the game. Get your opponent fixed. Damn my dog heard that and just slunk away...

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No more penalty for splitting teams during the battle ala CM1's temporary drop in morale or effectiveness, what ever you want to call it, split squad = drop from OK to shaken or worse.

Scout teams usually don't have radios, and if they wander too far off, they will be out of C2 and thus get hit by a morale bonus loss.

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I can't talk about MP since I don't play that way but personally, when I play I like to stay as relatively realistic in my tactics as possible. So while I could send scouts all the way to Berlin, I don't. I try to use them how a squad, platoon or company commander would use them. The tendency of people to use gamey behavior is one of the reasons I avoid MP.

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Same as Gunnergoz. I try to keep things 'realistic'. I find it more of a challenge this way. However it can be rather a ball-n-chain when playing Humans . Although I must admit I haven't tried CMBN MP yet - still on the upward (re)learning curve!

So I use Scout teams but try to keep them within C2 sight or at least minimize their new 'orders' when they are. So practically they can be used to check out the next hedgerow or section of woods, but not as some sort of LRDG. I am continuing to split teams up very often, mainly to provide scouts and to separate the AT chaps to stop them using their 60mm rockets as indirect-fire! I was initially doubtful about splitting US teams up too much until a poster pointed out (and I confirmed through some reading) that US squads were trained in using the rule-of-3 for fire and maneuver. However I am still restricting my use of splitting when I have anything worse than "Regular" troops.

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Same as Gunnergoz. I try to keep things 'realistic'. I find it more of a challenge this way. However it can be rather a ball-n-chain when playing Humans . Although I must admit I haven't tried CMBN MP yet - still on the upward (re)learning curve!

So I use Scout teams but try to keep them within C2 sight or at least minimize their new 'orders' when they are. So practically they can be used to check out the next hedgerow or section of woods, but not as some sort of LRDG. I am continuing to split teams up very often, mainly to provide scouts and to separate the AT chaps to stop them using their 60mm rockets as indirect-fire! I was initially doubtful about splitting US teams up too much until a poster pointed out (and I confirmed through some reading) that US squads were trained in using the rule-of-3 for fire and maneuver. However I am still restricting my use of splitting when I have anything worse than "Regular" troops.

Same here. I use scout teams for scouting as in "go look up there (where we can see you) and see what you can see"...I also use them for getting ammo out of dismounted vehicles, or sometimes getting bazookas out of vehicles. I also use jeep and truck drivers for such things and for scouting. Of course you can also re-man vehicles (such as MMG jeeps and MG half-tracks) with scout teams. Usually I check out routes for platoon advances using scouts and drivers and sometimes ammo bearers.

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Mentioned this a couple days back. http://www.battlefront.com/community/showthread.php?t=97681

I proposed something to the effect that their observations be delayed until they return within C2. Perhaps even a separate "map" for their intel, with the accuracy of their observations dependent upon experience, state of mind, etc..

How will you control the scout team then?

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Mentioned this a couple days back. http://www.battlefront.com/community/showthread.php?t=97681

I proposed something to the effect that their observations be delayed until they return within C2. Perhaps even a separate "map" for their intel, with the accuracy of their observations dependent upon experience, state of mind, etc..

Sounds like a very interesting feature, but I think it would be more for some kind of specialized reconnaissance team who could be given a route as much as several kilometers long to survey in a time period of about 30 minutes. I think the scout teams just represent basic infantrymen sent off on relatively routine "take a look" type missions -- a couple of hundred meters at the most in a 5 minute time frame.

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Same as gunnergoz/Fetchez/Meng...it's up to the player to play realistic tactics or not. I try to, simply because that's the experience I'm trying for in this game.

Plus, there is already a disincentive to pushing scout teams beyond c2. You may gain some god-level knowledge, but in return you lose the chance to pass a potential contact on to the rest of your units (which can give them a significant edge in spotting when they encounter the same unit), and you increase the chance that the scout team will be a total loss if it comes under fire (so a scout team that might have revealed 3 MG positions ends up only uncovering one, then fleeing under fire).

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Same as any other unit. You just don't see their contacts - even under fire. Provides incentive to not push them so far, and return them.

Why would anyone then bother with scout teams? I'd just starting AT teams for the same purpose then, or any other team for that matter. Scout teams already get lose some morale because they are out of C2. You will *never* be able to remove the problem that the player has way more information than any unit ever would.

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This conversation is funny because of the howls of protest over squads in CMSF not able to split off scout teams. Scout teams in CM:BN is a response to specific player demands. The convenient thing about scout teams is you can split off a couple guys NOT carrying important weapons to poke around. If they find something they find something. If they die you don't lose your zook or BAR guy in the process. I understand real-world infantry squads would rotate who got to take point during a patrol because the guy up front was most likely to get shot. The scout team would be your unlucky designated point guys.

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There will always be a certain degree of "unrealism" in the player-as-god perspective of CM. It is good to mitigate this where possible, as long as fun and playability isn't overly compromised.

But I'm not particularly worried about the whole "scout" issue presented here. As noted, there are already substantial C2 penalties for sending a scout unit too far ahead of its parent unit. And it's pretty easy to have a 2-man scout unit wiped out completely, and only get a few "?" contacts in return. Defending, I love it when the enemy sends units at me in bit and pieces, and lets me atritt his fighting force at low cost to my own fighting strength.

Finally, as a attacker, you shouldn't be allowing enemy scout teams to wander right up to your MLR. There are very good reasons why, IRL, defensive deployments usually have pickets and other light defensive positions in front of the MLR -- to intercept and deal with enemy scouts before they gain too much valuable intel on the enemy defense.

Frankly, if you have to reveal your primary defensive positions to deal with a 2-man scout team, then you deserve to have Big Arty or other flavor of the Wrath of God dropped on your MLR with a vengeance.

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I think the ability to be able to control your squads is one of the coolest and most realistic features in CMBN. If you are a Sergent in charge of a 10-12 man infantry squad with german MG in the opposite hedrow what are you going to do? --- Keep the entire squad together and rush?? ... or split the squad into 2 or 3 groups so some guys can lay down suppression and other guys can flank and shoot the bastard.

If there is a German tank rumbling down the road a little ways off, are you going to send you entire squad in?? Or are going to keep the majority of the squad on the line and break off and AT detail?

"Boy serg, that field seems awfully quite in front of us." ... what are you going to do?? Walk your entire team across it like any other day in the park?? Or send out a scout team while the rest of the squad lays prone with hair-triggers on anything that moves??

Dividing squads lets people make real-life decisions. .... sure, I agree, there are going to be people that make "Bad" decisions and have 2 or 3 man teams roaming over the entire map without regard to C2 ... but that has its disadvantages too aside from moral effects of being out of C2. ... As a defender, it's a lot easier to take out a lone scout team that it is to take out a well-coordinated squad.

So I say great job BF with the squad control! Personally, I think it's one of the stronger and bolder features in this game.

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And once again this thread shows that a feature's value is often all about how you look at it :D

The idea of delayed God like information reporting isn't a bad one, and in some sense would fix some problems. But it would introduce others. The primary one is that you, as the Scout Team's brain, would be denied the ability to effectively direct the actions of your Scout Team for it's own survival. Think about it...

You order your Scout Team to move through some woods. It sees something, but doesn't report it back to you (the player). The Scout Team continues on it's merry way and is wiped out. Well, you didn't get the intel (which is good), but you also lost the Scouts in a probable unrealistic way. In real life the Scouts would have stopped, not engaged, and either observed or retreated. There is no way the TacAI is going to be able to make those kinds of decisions.

And if the TacAI was smart about it, what happens if your Scout Team stops moving on its own. You, as the player, say "AH! There's something there!!". And you just sit and wait for the clock to tick by and then you know what it is. Or you try moving the Scouts a little to the left to better cover and it once again stops. New contact, or the old contact? You don't know, which is good in theory. But if you're trying to order these guys to save their asses, which is a realistic thing to do, then being denied that sort of information is wrong. And very frustrating from player's standpoint.

There's only so much we can do to discourage the Player as God problem. We have a number of things in the game that do a pretty good job of this while at the same time balancing well with the player's need/responsibility to command units.

Steve

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The way I see it, the player would make sure to utilize small radius covered arcs and move to contact orders, and then move only as far to the edge of some sort of cover as, in their experience and judgment, they should, in light of risking loss of the intel and the team. I could see the intel appearing on a little tab like the arty support is now.

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My personal usage of scouts is to go ahead usually no further than the next hedgerow, usually still within sight of the parent unit. Once I have found it is safe the rest of the unit moves up. I don't tend to send them unsupported wandering around the map. Guess I tend to more of the realism camp, but that is generally my play style. Hell I even get wrapped up trying to deal with my casualties even though I know that may consume time and risk other units. For me though that is part of the immersion of the game. True recon units aren't the scouts split off from a squad. Huzzah! is a great example of having true recon units within a mission and follow up units behind.

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