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Moving vehicle columns


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So I just finished playing Huzzar, which was a lot of fun, except that it really highlighted something that's been bugging me for a while, namely that it is a huge pain to move vehicle columns. I'm tired of plotting a whole string of waypoints for each vehicle in a big column only to have either the column stack up because someone is a bit too slow or fast which starts a chain reaction of ridiculous stopping and starting and trying to drive around each other (this despite generous pauses), or to have some idiot fail at turning a corner and having everyone stack up behind him. Is there a way to code the tacAI to have like a "column mode" where they drive like rational beings? I realize this is a tricky problem and am not pointing any fingers, just putting this out there.

On the bright side :D :

cmnormandy2011072523591.png

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...(this despite generous pauses)...

May I ask how generous? I mean, yes, there is a real art to setting up a column of vehicles, and even if you've mastered the knack, you still need some luck. The real thing had some of the same problems, or even worse, if there is any comfort to be found in that. If practical, running smaller columns on parallel routes can be a great help. If only one route is available, breaking up the column into chunks of four or five vehicles per turn to begin moving with 10-15 second intervals will also help. If you have the space on the map, substituting a distance interval for a time interval will also work. Just starting your vehicles with about a 30 meter separation should help.

Michael

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As an aside my Uncle was a driver in the army.

Apparently once they started moving they didn't stop until they got to their destination,MPs would go ahead creating a path for them.They would go through redlights,stop signs and intersections as if they weren't there.

If for whatever reason you had to stop you would just turn off the road.Part of the test to get his drivers rating was getting the vehicle off the road quickly.

If the vehicle at the front of the column had to stop for just a few seconds it could bring the column to a grinding halt as it impacted exponentially along the column.The truck at the back could be waiting half an hour or more depending on the length of the column.

I should point out I was quite young when this information was relayed to me and it was done briefly.It makes sense when you think about it though.

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As an aside my Uncle was a driver in the army.

Apparently once they started moving they didn't stop until they got to their destination,MPs would go ahead creating a path for them.They would go through redlights,stop signs and intersections as if they weren't there.

I take it this was during peacetime in a friendly setting?

Michael

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How hard can it be to code a road column order for a platoon or section of vehicles. Many of you may also play the Norbsoft Gettysburg game where we can give a movement order to a Division or Brigade and tell it to use roads and the regiments march nicely in column to the nearest road and stays on the road until the objective is reached....even going through towns.

I qualify this assertion with the fact that I know Zero about writing code and/or programing games. Cheers.

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I usually use ten second pauses with a couple vehicle lengths spacing. Obviously if you are willing to accept arbitrarily large spacing/pauses you can get any number of vehicles to behave, but I think its not unreasonable to expect a little better. Consider what we see on highways every day, cars a few feet from each other doing 70 without slamming on the brakes and pausing for 10 seconds every other minute. Objections: with user-friendly vehicles, on a (generally) beautifully built road, in peacetime. Responses: 18-wheelers do it too, I don't expect my halftracks to do 70 on dirt roads, nor do I expect the column to hold together if people start shooting at them. I 'm just talking about rear-area "strategic" movement.

P.S. Lol at that million dollar crash thing. Wonder how much a halftrack (or tank for that matter) costs.

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Consider what we see on highways every day, cars a few feet from each other doing 70 without slamming on the brakes and pausing for 10 seconds every other minute.

Maybe you live in some mythical land with perfect motorway traffic, but I assure you, in my neck of the woods it's a biatch.

And oddly enough the behaviour you describe is almost exactly what happens. A long column driving at speed and far too close to each other, even a small tap on the brakes from the head of the column can be amplified into a half-hour long stop-start crawl a couple of kilometers down the line. don't ya love it? All that time in a traffic jam you were imagining the apocalyptic events which caused the delay, but it's never anything interesting, just another tail-gating ass-hat f*ing with your life.

It is, quite simply the greatest challenge to civic planners trying to relive motorway traffic congestion. Bad driving, brake-humping, lane-jumping MORONS. I gotta move to the country.

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+ 1 to column movement for a whole platoon/ grouped vehicles.

I love this game, but anything more than a company and a couple platoons of vehicles is a headache to manage.

I finished the last battle of the Strength and courage campaign, at a battalion and a half + engagement, it was a ball breaker headache of management.

I think this game is great at big multi battalion engagements, it just needs a better system of giving orders to companies and have them move as a group in a lodgical way.

I guess what I'm getting at is I want better system for ordering companies as a whole along with vehicle column movement.

I want to see regimental size engagements and not cringe at moving hundreds of squads around. just move companies or platoons and nothing lower.

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I love this game, but anything more than a company and a couple platoons of vehicles is a headache to manage.

I finished the last battle of the Strength and courage campaign, at a battalion and a half + engagement, it was a ball breaker headache of management.

Agreed. In CMx1 I used to regularly play with reinforced battalions. I wouldn't even contemplate doing that now.

I want to see regimental size engagements and not cringe at moving hundreds of squads around. just move companies or platoons and nothing lower.

I expect that is never going to happen in CM. I think it is working on exactly the level that its designers originally envisioned it.

Michael

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It's been many years since, but when driving in convoy in BOAR it was SOP that vehicles be spaced 50m apart when moving in a built up area, and 100m apart when on open road.

This equates to 6 and 12 action spots in game. I use this principle and these distances in game and it works well enough. But I also do recall numerous bottlenecks, delays and traffic jams. Moving large numbers of troops/ vehicles down the same route is an art in game and real life !

P

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Agreed. In CMx1 I used to regularly play with reinforced battalions. I wouldn't even contemplate doing that now.

It doesn't seem that bad to me. The work is heavily front-loaded. The setup is a headache, but once the units reach their initial positions the game becomes much more manageable.

I expect that is never going to happen in CM. I think it is working on exactly the level that its designers originally envisioned it.

One upcoming (hopefully) feature that will help out is the return of movable waypoints. Giving platoons group move orders is a big time saver, but the inability to adjust the individual movement lines limits it's utility.

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It doesn't seem that bad to me. The work is heavily front-loaded. The setup is a headache, but once the units reach their initial positions the game becomes much more manageable.

i currently work on two campaigns with reinforced batallions (one in final designer testing, the other in early development) - speaking from my experience in scenario test it's a question of routine and learning curve. and i think best is to play larger scenarios in WEGO since you can replay action in another area of the map - eg if you run into enemy troops. in RT it is much more diffcult to handle this.

On Convoys: one campaign has several scenarios with the task to exit transport columns and entire task forces along a highway under enemy pressure. There i see experience and learning curve help a lot to run large convoys along roads. currently i can set up convois in company+ strength without getting traffic jams or strange behaviour over a stretch of different road types of about 1.5-2 kms. then you will have to stop for tactical reasons anyway and then run the "package" for the next phase. as mentioned above the following helps to manage such convoys:

  • use pauses of 10-20 seconds between vehicles (which is roughly equivalent to the 50-100m mentioned above).
  • use waypoints properly across bridges
  • never use fast - maximum speed is quick but best is move
  • when approaching roadbends or bridges etc use move speed for some narrow passages use slow
  • in towns and villages use rather more waypoints - same is true for alleys.

here a picture with some paths plotted. Example

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I actually played the same scenario yesterday(Total victory btw :) ) And when I saw those reinforcements I knew that it would be pain in the ass to get them to front. But lucky me the enemy took a longer route so I just selected all halftracks and gave them a "quick" order to a field near the town. Sure it took some time to get there, but I actually didnt even need those troops. But yeah that same problem has been around since first CM.

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