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Foxhole woes


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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.

This is my experience too with regards to buildings... especially stone building.

I made a post about this but it didn't garner interest. It seems that buildings, especially stone buildings should provide more cover and of course protection from rifle fire.

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These fortification items seem to suffer from the same problem as Flavor Objects - They move around inside the action spots each time you restart the Mission.

Didn't this problem with flavor objects exist back in CMSF?

I figured this to be a huge problem, while spending several hours on setting up a more efficient german defense in Busting the Bocage (Demo). At some time, I found that perfect foxhole position spot for a HMG42 (5 men, probably understrength) to cover that paved road bend, about 240m away. I planted one of the TRPs there, that also was covered by a PAK40, from a defiladed position about 350m to the rear.

Once I had everything "perfected", I took some break, saved the setup and exited CMBN. When back on it later, reloaded, I figured that the HMG section members shuffled individual positions, with the result, that the HMG (actually the whole unit), did not have LOS to that TRP and road bend anymore. Also, 2 section members were not to get into the foxholes anymore.

I have to add, that it took me several attempts to get the particular section member configuration I needed, by moving the HMG section in and out of the FH position repeatedly, also trying different "face" commands.

Looks like individual soldier positions (in foxholes) are not saved and thus leading to random configurations after reload. Also during game play, there´s no indication where individual soldiers will finally move to, oftenly leading to undesired results, incl. individual soldiers ending outside foxhole cover. :(

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I'm suspicious that the SPECIFIC location of certain items in the game and the EXACT grouping of squads is not data that is saved within the framework of the mission information.

Thus, items are somehow randomized inside each action spot they are assigned to and soldier groupings are as well. Human players can, of course, tweak these in setup, but we have no such recourse with AI placements.

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While I did not purchased the game yet ( currently lacking the $ ), I could only do some tests in Busting the bocage, german player vs. AIP.

My experiences so far:

Beside lack of modelling overhead cover vs. tree/airbursts (my various comments can be found starting here)

http://www.battlefront.com/community/showthread.php?t=97855&page=2

...efficiency of trenches and foxholes can be improved vs (US) artillery, by placing these far from terrain that includes trees. Hedgerows qualify as well. This greatly decreases, or removes effects from tree/airbursts vs. infantry in FHs/trenches. I´ve not yet figured a rule of thumb for the distances, as it also varies with shell size/type.

More generally, it is wise to disperse soldiers. Split squads to their components (assault) and place the sections in FHs/trenches at least 2 action spots apart (16m), so the actual defense width for a squad position would be closer to the historic ~30m (for germans).

I also figured, that individual trench sections (singly placed) appear to be more vulnerable generally, than at least 3 trench sections connected (preferably in zig zag manner). Also this would be the preferable "squad position", with squads split in half and again seperated, by at least 1 action spot.

"Hide" in FHs / trenches does not work generally. Every few seconds each individual squad or section memeber will take a peek, in a seemingly random manner, sometimes 2 or more at the same time. If then some lead or HE shell is coming close, these guys might be unlucky getting a new haircut.

Note: Historically, in cases where "taking full cover" (Volle Deckung) is ordered for some time, a single squad/section member would be tasked to take observation duty, while the remaining guys really kept the heads down in / behind existing cover.

So I´d wish this to work in CMBN in a similar way: Just have 1 same guy doing observation, either constantly, or in larger intervals (1-2 times per minute). This should also be the guy given the binocs, but not necessarily the squad leader. This should be the "hide" applied in/from any position currently occupied. Additionally I could think of adding a "take full cover" command, where every single soldier not just goes to "hide", constantly, but also makes itself as small a target as possible, to make the very best of "cover". That could possibly "abstracted", factored in.

I´d also wish to get that combined with "pause" commands, where you can apply a "Feuerüberfall" (coordinated short mass fire on a single target) and then after a "pause", have the unit get back into "full cover" (or "hide"), in the currently occupied action spot. Usually this action takes below, say 10-20 seconds and then the "target" is either reasonably affected (killed, suppressed, routed ect.), or not. After that, there´s no more reason for a defender (also attacker), to show itself a good target for return fire.

Even if some of the currently implemented "hide" (+cover arc) does some of the job, I´d like to have more control. (or implement this as part of a nations forces "doctrine", "battle drill")

With all that easily said, I at least have high hopes for CMX3 or X4. :)

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Just to let you guys know... we found a definite Bug that is likely responsible for most of the woes expressed here. Short of it is at the very end of development we switched from having the normal position of soldiers be prone most of the time to kneeling most of the time. They just didn't "look right" prone. What we really need is some sort of intermediate crouching position, but we don't have that. Anyway, we switched to kneeling and in the process forgot to adjust some code that gave abstract protection for shrapnel. In other words, the system right now is not giving those guys much of a bonus because graphically they are mostly exposed.

Already fixed for v1.01.

Steve

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I'm suspicious that the SPECIFIC location of certain items in the game and the EXACT grouping of squads is not data that is saved within the framework of the mission information.

Thus, items are somehow randomized inside each action spot they are assigned to and soldier groupings are as well. Human players can, of course, tweak these in setup, but we have no such recourse with AI placements.

Thats´s my impression as well. Would be good to get away from certain randomizations, at least for particular "fixed" action spot positions, like foxholes. I know, foxholes aren´t really "fixed" either, as one can sees the random rotation applied.

In case of the german HMG section, I´d wish at least the HMG gunner be fixed for a chosen setup. (should apply to all "key" weapons within squads, at least for support weapon squads/sections, =AT, LMG, HMG...)

Is the LOS be drawn genereically from the center of the occupied action spot (it seems so)?

FH´s and trenches also show "bases" (that circle + 3 triangles thingy), normally indicating a units facing. In "Busting the Bocage" these always face "east" during setup. Does this have any (hidden) functionality in the game?

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Just to let you guys know... we found a definite Bug that is likely responsible for most of the woes expressed here. Short of it is at the very end of development we switched from having the normal position of soldiers be prone most of the time to kneeling most of the time. They just didn't "look right" prone. What we really need is some sort of intermediate crouching position, but we don't have that. Anyway, we switched to kneeling and in the process forgot to adjust some code that gave abstract protection for shrapnel. In other words, the system right now is not giving those guys much of a bonus because graphically they are mostly exposed.

Already fixed for v1.01.

Steve

Thanks for the good news and efforts put in there! :)

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Great news that a bug was found and squished. Thanks for the update.

I'm still curious about my foxhole question. If a soldier is lying between the four foxholes (not in one) is he protected from bullets that appear to hit the foxhole? Am I worrying and trying face commands every turn just to get a soldier INTO the foxhole when he is fine hiding behind one?

Also, since it is a PBEM battle does this have the problem of the randomizing locations? From what I can tell that is not the case since my HMG crew has the two crewmen sitting in the middle of all the foxholes while the rest of the squad are all dead inside the foxholes. These men have not budged from their center location during this battle so it appears they aren't rotating around.

It is odd that the last men alive in that HMG squad are the two that are operating the HMG and sitting in the middle of all the foxholes while everyone with a rifle and IN a foxhole are dead.

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bumping again. does anyone know the answer to this?

I'm still curious about my foxhole question. If a soldier is lying between the four foxholes (not in one) is he protected from bullets that appear to hit the foxhole? Am I worrying and trying face commands every turn just to get a soldier INTO the foxhole when he is fine hiding behind one?

Also, since it is a PBEM battle does this have the problem of the randomizing locations? From what I can tell that is not the case since my HMG crew has the two crewmen sitting in the middle of all the foxholes while the rest of the squad are all dead inside the foxholes. These men have not budged from their center location during this battle so it appears they aren't rotating around.

It is odd that the last men alive in that HMG squad are the two that are operating the HMG and sitting in the middle of all the foxholes while everyone with a rifle and IN a foxhole are dead.

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