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Foxhole woes


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Note: this particular game is using the demo... its a game that started before the full version came out. But I haven't seen anything better in the full version.

Script:

Oh! A tank! Quick Shoot!

(blam)

"Hmm - missed, better reload, now where did I put that ammo?"

"Oh th ...."

Why didn't this guy duck down into the foxhole before reloading?

From my limited perspective as a player, it seems that where in the old days foxhole cover was entirely abstracted, it has now become something that is soley modelled by the physical obstruction of the mound. This is proving not enough, because the AI troops aren't smart enough to make proper use of the cover.

It seems that a solution would be "easy" (easy to say :) )... like houses, foxholes could provide abstract cover: roll a dice to see if actually the guy managed to duck.

Failing that, guys have to _actually_ duck much better.

GaJ

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Note: this particular game is using the demo... its a game that started before the full version came out. But I haven't seen anything better in the full version.

Script:

Oh! A tank! Quick Shoot!

(blam)

"Hmm - missed, better reload, now where did I put that ammo?"

"Oh th ...."

Why didn't this guy duck down into the foxhole before reloading?

From my limited perspective as a player, it seems that where in the old days foxhole cover was entirely abstracted, it has now become something that is soley modelled by the physical obstruction of the mound. This is proving not enough, because the AI troops aren't smart enough to make proper use of the cover.

It seems that a solution would be "easy" (easy to say :) )... like houses, foxholes could provide abstract cover: roll a dice to see if actually the guy managed to duck.

Failing that, guys have to _actually_ duck much better.

GaJ

Foxholes *are* abstracted in the game. Otherwise they would not be influenced by the fog of war. In CMSF trenches were "physically" in the game, but that was undesired.

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There is some abstracted cover (i.e. dice roll if a bullet hits a guy to see if he's "actually hit"), which I think is mostly to compensate for the trenches/fox holes not actually being all that deep. But it's not a big chance to "roll a save", so I agree that more ducking to reload and such would be nice.

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Foxholes *are* abstracted in the game

Interesting that you say this.

In some other thread Steve said (I thought he said) that the cover from things was physical, including foxholes: the comment at the time was in relation to "if it looks like they are exposed, then they are exposed".

It seems "unreasonable" that a shrek guy would let himself get killed by MG fire while in a foxhole reloading...

GaJ

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The physical objects are guaranteed to stop bullets (or at least try, like a building vs .50 cal), but on top of that there is some abstracted cover to account for the AI/level of detail not providing quite enough cover (not every dip and bump, AI don't adjust posture for different pieces of cover).

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Good to know.

So it's hard to tell whether the abstract cover for foxholes is not enough, or whether the ducking behaviour is not enough ... but something is out of whack.

It may be that in the movie, that guy was just going to die anyhow... like he took his cover dice roll and bought it.

The "grating" thing is watching him sit up there just asking to die.

The "accumulated experience" thing is that guys die like flies in foxholes, so it feels wrong...

GaJ

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GaJ,

Interesting movie! Well done.

Foxhole cover is under observation.

I am not sure whether the weapon can be reloaded in the prone state. So the issue is a combination of lack of protection in the kneeling position and unability to reload prone. I write this without having checked myself.

Since you do us the favor of making these nice videos, please also always keep a save game. It is hard to get Charles to accept bug reports without save games.

Best regards,

Thomm

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I'm not sure about foxholes either.

1. Placement is difficult if there's any objects nearby, e.g. Bocage hedge.

2. Just how much protection do they confer.

3. They don't look good.

I've just had an incident when my guys advanced to take over some enemy foxholes and they hid behind and around the foxholes not IN them!? In other words they used them more like sandbags. They still got shot.

Now to my headline question:-

I've just noticed in the editor that the usual combat unit stats variables list comes upeven with foxholes etc.. Does changing a 'Green', low motivated and badly led foxhole to Elite, highly motivated, well led foxhole make any difference?

Intuitively, I'd think not, but you have to ask to be sure. :D

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I'd have to say that Houses, foxholes and trenches all seem to confer less cover than one would expect.

Lying prone in the open seems to be a more survivable tactic than using these as "cover" - not least because troops appear to fire over their heads a lot - it's almost as if they expect the enemy to be kneeling or standing and aim accordingly. In trenches, foxholes and houses, they are kneeling or standing and die as a result.

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I'd have to say that Houses, foxholes and trenches all seem to confer less cover than one would expect.

Lying prone in the open seems to be a more survivable tactic than using these as "cover" - not least because troops appear to fire over their heads a lot - it's almost as if they expect the enemy to be kneeling or standing and aim accordingly. In trenches, foxholes and houses, they are kneeling or standing and die as a result.

Good observation: I feel like that too: I'm amazed how much my guys die in fortifications and don't die in the open!

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GaJ,

Interesting movie! Well done.

Foxhole cover is under observation.

I am not sure whether the weapon can be reloaded in the prone state. So the issue is a combination of lack of protection in the kneeling position and unability to reload prone. I write this without having checked myself.

Since you do us the favor of making these nice videos, please also always keep a save game. It is hard to get Charles to accept bug reports without save games.

Best regards,

Thomm

I think that I will always have a save file of any situation that I describe: just ask. I play PBEM and don't tend to clean up old files that often...

GaJ

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I think that I will always have a save file of any situation that I describe: just ask.

Thank you! In this specific case I cannot help, because I will go on holidays soon and have to process my own reports first. Perhaps somebody else will come along to pick it up.

Best regards,

Thomm

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Good observation: I feel like that too: I'm amazed how much my guys die in fortifications and don't die in the open!

Possibly selection bias. I ran some tests a while back of squads being shot at in the open, in foxholes and in trenches (all shot at by identical MG42s at identical distances of around 150 meters IIRC). Flat dirt ground except for the fortifications.

Once I'd accumulated enough stats to be roughly reliable, I think the troops in the open had suffered about 60 casualties, in foxholes had suffered around 45, and in trenches had taken 30 casualties. (Starting with equal numbers of troops, one minute of firing, generally getting 2-4 hits in the first minute and then restarting).

That's only one scenario, but I think is good enough to suggest that trenches do provide better protection against HMGs on level ground at least ;)

Also notable was that units in the open or in foxholes took more suppression for the same quantity of casualties (in minutes where say 2 men were hit in each setup), and were more likely to start crawling for cover somewhere else while the guys in the trenches stayed put.

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Possibly selection bias. I ran some tests a while back of squads being shot at in the open, in foxholes and in trenches (all shot at by identical MG42s at identical distances of around 150 meters IIRC). Flat dirt ground except for the fortifications.

Once I'd accumulated enough stats to be roughly reliable, I think the troops in the open had suffered about 60 casualties, in foxholes had suffered around 45, and in trenches had taken 30 casualties. (Starting with equal numbers of troops, one minute of firing, generally getting 2-4 hits in the first minute and then restarting).

That's only one scenario, but I think is good enough to suggest that trenches do provide better protection against HMGs on level ground at least ;)

Also notable was that units in the open or in foxholes took more suppression for the same quantity of casualties (in minutes where say 2 men were hit in each setup), and were more likely to start crawling for cover somewhere else while the guys in the trenches stayed put.

Systematic experiments trump casual observation, for sure. If this is repeatable, it's a good start. On the other hand, I think the ratio is way too low. Guys in foxholes should be able to survive MG fire indefinitely by not poking their heads up.

One problem with the experiement described is that it doesn't mention the difficulty of getting the guys to get in and stay in the foxholes in the first place. That is a separate woe in addition to the perceived lack of cover that they provide.

I say "perceived" because this may be one of those representation things. When some guy dies in the open, you think "damn, that had to happen". When some guy takes it in the chest standing up in a foxhole you think "WTF?!", which overwhelms any objective sense of "how much fire did he avoid before he died".

The video I posted has another curious aspect to it. There appears to be no incoming fire directly associated with the guy's death. Some fire zings by just before he dies, but this is actually aimed at, and going towards, guys behind him to the right. Why did he actually die?!

GaJ

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The video I posted has another curious aspect to it. There appears to be no incoming fire directly associated with the guy's death. Some fire zings by just before he dies, but this is actually aimed at, and going towards, guys behind him to the right. Why did he actually die?!

GaJ

IIRC, CMx2 doesn't show every single shot as a "tracer" for automatic weapons fire. I don't know exactly what ratio CMBN uses of "tracer" vs. plain old ball or AP. IRL, a ratio of around 1:5 was often used for MGs, but riflemen didn't usually fire tracer at all, and I don't think the "tracers" in CMx2 are entirely intended to be a realistic depiction of RL tracer fire -- I think they're also intended as a player aid to make it easier to see where fire is coming from. The stock "tracers" are certainly larger and longer than they would be IRL, in addition to the fact that pretty much all small arms weapons seem to fire tracer for at least some of their shots.

At any rate, I'm pretty sure there are bullets flying around that you can't see. And shots can definitely hit a soldier other than the one they're specifically aimed at, if that's where their ballistic trajectory happens to take them.

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Good observation: I feel like that too: I'm amazed how much my guys die in fortifications and don't die in the open!

First, I seem to see a lot of little red crosses among your men, so that does not seem to be a problem in our game.

Second, where is my turn so I can continue...testing this out. :D

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The video I posted has another curious aspect to it. There appears to be no incoming fire directly associated with the guy's death. Some fire zings by just before he dies, but this is actually aimed at, and going towards, guys behind him to the right. Why did he actually die?!

i get quite a lot (relatively speaking) of events that are strange in that way. someone getting hit with fire that misses by wide margin or someone taking multiple "hits" to the chest in the open without any effect. or first someone's shots are off the target by about 10 degrees for multiple shots, and then caboom a shot right to the chest, then again off by 10 degress.*

since i use WEGO i suppose it can be shrugged off by the "graphical representation in WEGO is not accurate" line. often, like you with these two videos of yours, i don't even notice the anomaly at first -- i usually only accidentally notice it when i am replaying the turn. i would miss 99% of the anomalies if i played in RT. i think it has something to do with how brains automatically "explain" things so that they appear to follow some sort of logic. and of course it works the other way around as well -- brains make one think that there are more anomalies than there really are (in relative to the number of nonanomalous events).

i'm sure it's only in my head, but nonetheless it can be somehow annoying, as the whole point of detailed graphical representation becomes a bit moot.

* if you think about something like managing to hit someone in Red Orchestra (a reference to another case of line-to-object 3D intersection collision detection with similar ballistics and target object qualities), even when you are pointing your gun straight at the target (instead of missing something like 10 degress) it's damn hard to actually hit anyone. now imagine if your aim accuracy varies so much that shots are off by 10 degrees... you should never hit anything except at point blank. so what i am saying is that i find it odd that there aren't more near misses (in relation to the number of wide misses), from the perspective of line-to-mesh collision detection.

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In a foxhole, all one should see exposed is a mans head and his weapon. In game, they all kneel, exposing their whole torso.

To be accurate, the foxhole "mound" needs to be piled higher, or men need to be programmed to stay prone in the holes.

Shell holes seem to work better. Maybe those should be available for purchase.

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First, I seem to see a lot of little red crosses among your men, so that does not seem to be a problem in our game.

Second, where is my turn so I can continue...testing this out. :D

Its my tanks that are dieing like flies in our game. My men only seem to die appallingly when trying to take the house :)

And I thought I already sent a turn... I'm waiting for yours!

GaJ (wanders off to check)

re-edit: damn, I'd played it already, just forgot to send! doh! I sooooo miss PBEMH!!! All your games listed, with status visible, one-click entry into the game... sob :(

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