4 requests

Discussion in 'CO2 - Feature Requests' started by ghibli, Feb 9, 2018.

  1. ghibli

    ghibli Member

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    1) Indicate on enemy counters wether they are firing
    2) Retake position flag with "in situ" formation: this could be made to work. The in-situ formation is useful to carefully select defensive positions according to terrain. If units are forced to retreat it would be nice to have them readvance again by themselves.
    3) New counterattack flag: if ticked retreated units will try to reoccupy their previous positions by attack, not by simple movement. Could be combined with 2.
    4) Attack flag: this seem to work almost exclusively when the orded is issued to an HQ unit. If issued to a company, 90% of the times it would not trigger any attack. Having it working in this way would be very useful in clearing the rear guard from enemies.
     
  2. hubee0

    hubee0 Member

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    1) Doesn't seem to be desirable. As a commander you don't necessary know what enemy unit is doing what. If your unit is in contact with an enemy unit and that unit is firing, then you can know, yes. But in that case, you have 'threats' tool to see who is firing at you.
     
  3. ghibli

    ghibli Member

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    As far as I know the threat line of sight tool (TLOS) should show the enemy units a selected unit is seeing and the perceived level of threat...

    The Force Data Display already shows what an enemy unit is doing, i.e. if it's firing, if sufficient intel is available (manual v 1.2 p. 138, Action/Deployment)! The counter used for the enemies instead shows the unit deployment status and if it's moving but not if it's firing. I am suggesting to make it more clearly visible if an enemy is firing by introducing a coloured box (just like the Engagement Status Indicator p. 136, but only the blue one for firing), just as one would see (selecting units one by one) from the Force Data Display.
     
  4. jimcarravallah

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    I think #2 and #3 are covered with a defend order, and the attack option per Page 73 of the game manual. You can defend in-situ with an attack order, which will allow the units that are defending to attack back if they are of sufficient strength, and likewise, a counterattack from any defensive formation.

    Regarding #4: Are you taking into account all the dynamics that facilitate an attack? If the unit is fatigued, lacks cohesion, or is low on morale, it will refuse an attack order, particularly at the company level where leadership attributes to rally the troops is average for the most part. I've issued attack orders and receive the message "unit has insufficient strength to complete the order," which is an indication that the unit health is below the unit health requirements to accomplish the attack.
     
  5. ghibli

    ghibli Member

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    Re #2 #3. A defend order would not have my desired effect for two reasons: first is the in-situ formation does not allow units to move at all, even with the retake postion option turned on, which would be a useful feature particularly for this formation. The attack flag has no effect with this formation since units cannot move. Besides the attack flag would make units to attack enemies under general circumstances, even when you want your units to remain entrenched: I propose that this work only if the unit is forced to retreat and is able to reorganize.

    Re #4. It doesn't seem to be a matter of any of the units characteristics. Just that it is the HQ that issue the attack order if triggered by the presence of the enemy. If the HQ is the on-map-boss, possibly due to a lack of direct LOS it almost never issues an attack order, while executing a move or defend order.
     
  6. ghibli

    ghibli Member

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    Regarding #4: it may probably be that even a modest level of fatigue is often enough to stop a single unit from triggering an attack. I was too quick at posting this, my fault. :panda:
     
  7. GoodGuy

    GoodGuy Member

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    3) would be nice, as in Russia (or in the West) the Germans (as well as the Russians) mounted counterattacks within 1-2 hours, quite often, sometimes even less, locally. While in '44 and '45 German counterattacks were often ill-fated or lacking punch, due to the lack of materiel, troops or proper orders/plans, there were plenty of situations during earlier stages of the war, where then both sides held parts of a city or even just a house (like in Stalingrad, Charkov, etc.) and where both sides tried to get the upper hand, almost continously, sometimes for days (weeks in Stalingrad). Regroup (reinforce, if necessary), rearm and then attack again. It was like that on that little hill (which changed hands numerous times) in Stalingrad, where on both sides - if the hill was held - sometimes only 1 or 2 soldiers had survived the attack, and at the Tractor Factor. It was the same in some villages in the West, against US troops, to some extent. I'd like to see that kind of tenacity in the AI (along with a counterattack function), too.
     
  8. jimcarravallah

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    The scenario designer puts that kind of tenacity into the unit and commander attributes.

    Your issue isn't with the game engine, but with how the scenario designer(s) document attributes for the Unit Data Summary Screeen and in the Unit Data Commander Quality Screen.

    You can read up on it starting with Page 35 of the SceneMaker manual.
     
  9. GoodGuy

    GoodGuy Member

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    Hmm, no, that's the wrong conclusion.

    The ability to carry out consecutive attacks is either defined in the doctrine part of the game, or placed in the functions that define how attacks are carried out. The OP suggested to hand the decision to mount a counterattack (say after the enemy has taken an objective that was defended by a friendly unit, or after an attack had been mounted and repusled - the latter would not be a counterattack, but something that i would call "follow-on" plan for consecutive attacks [to retake the objective], until either fatigue kicks in, or until the player cancels the attack) to the player.

    This does not just involve the definition of tenacity and stubborness levels in the SM, but also doctrine and/or attack procedures.
    The game does not cater for orders that were issued like this (historically):

    "(Counter)attack A until captured and cleared, no matter what, even if it takes consecutive attacks that will wipe out or exhaust your troops."

    or the more forgiving version:

    "(Counter)attack A and mount consecutive attacks until A is taken or a vital part held. (Regroup/change approach if necessary.)"

    The Russians mounted a myriad of such (often ill-fated) counterattacks in 1941 and in 1942. German commanders, pressured by their superiors, did the same in 1944, despite their troops being tired and disenchanted after 5 years of war, but also in 1942 in Stalingrad.

    Some nations (Germany, Japan, often Russia as well) maintained less forgiving regimes, means superior echelons (quite often) did not care about high casualty rates, they just wanted results.

    On top of that, the political commissar (officer) in the Russian Army would not just watch the grunts, but also the unit commander, a similar (but more secretly run) regime was maintained by the Japanese Kenpetai (military and secret police force). Locally, commanders could try to reduce casualty rates with smarter or more careful orders, especially with the German mission-type tactics, but they could not deny to execute an order to attack a given target.
    And on top of that, the Bushido thing was so hyped in the Japanese society, that the tenacity in Japanese units was probably the highest of all Armies, which led to the well-known bajonet attacks throughout the battlefields in the Pacific, eventually.

    Such features, as well as the careless or ruthless approaches that could be found in many SS-units, where quite some of their commanders lacked military education, should be considered to be included in the game's doctrines.

    While line units in the Western armies (US, British) were sometimes allowed to rethink and adjust plans, troops/units in the other 3 armies (often) did not experience that level of freedom or forgiveness. And I am not talking about mission-type tactics vs order-type tactics.
     
    #9 GoodGuy, Apr 29, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
  10. jimcarravallah

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    Yeah, I know. I've studied World War II since about the age of 12, and studied historical doctrine and tactics to assist me in managing logistics for the US Army for 27 years. You can't design a system to sustain a combat organization without first understanding the organization's mission and methods for meeting that mission -- or almost as importantly -- the mission of potential enemy forces and their methods for meeting their mission.

    I designed a Pacific front scenario using the troop health and commander attributes in an effort to mimic the "Bushido" dedication to defensive tenacity that was required for some realism. Can't say it works exactly as I wanted, but in terms or relative aggressiveness between Japanese defense forces and the highly spirited Marine Corps, I think I found a balance which includes the Japanese retaining positions at all costs (including spontaneous counter attacks).

    I'd suggest if you really want to understand the game and its mechanics, that you do your own scenario and explore the options available to emulate troop behavior under combat situations.

    The attributes available to design combat forces track with those I had to consider for impact of my professional decisions, and, if implemented properly, should result in a realistic emulation of battlefield results.
     
  11. GoodGuy

    GoodGuy Member

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    I created a couple fictional scenarios for HTTR. I also playtested a number of scenarios for scen designers who created community scenarios for COTA, so I'm familiar with quite some of the main mechanics, I think, despite all the changes.

    In the game, say if the attack of a coy or an entire BN failed, then it could take any amount of time, from 1 hour to several hours until the unit or parts of the unit recover and renew the attack. With a Bn, one Coy at a time would route, sometimes they would try to regroup/recover right in the open when the enemy focuses on the leading Coys, just to take even more casualties (by still sitting in the open during the recover period) and route again, when the enemy shifts fire again, eventually.
    On top, I encountered single units here and there that stayed in yellow or red mode and never recovered (not sure if that still happens in CO2).

    Another example: say 2 companies would meet and engage in a city environment, and say they would have exactly the same values (including combat power) and the very same equipment and amount of troops (say 160), and both would be just "deployed" (not dug in) in their defensive positions with the scenario start set to midnight (so that they "suddenly" face each other when the sun comes up), then one of those units would route, eventually. While all troops in the routing unit would run for their lives (and couldn't be controlled by the player), the other unit would be able to take advantage, switch to the offensive, or just move and take the routing unit's defensive position.

    In Stalingrad, one side kept holding say the lower floors of a house, while the other side kept the top stories of a house, or the northern part of a factory and the southern part of a factory, for days, even weeks. The Germans often had contingents tasked with holding perimeters, and other units (say like the Sturmpioniere that were sent in later on) tasked with attacking and minimizing the enemy's defensive perimeter. The Russians kept pumping in troops to hold and mount counterattacks. But there were also houses that kept changing hands, where one Coy would fight an enemy Coy, with both renewing their attacks every 20 or 60 minutes, until they had to be replaced or reinforced. The same happened at that infamous hill, where entire Bns were thrown in for attacks, on both sides, with the hill changing hands every day, and sometimes even after hours only. During some of these defenses/attacks, all troops were wiped out, with one or another survivor on either side, and with the survivor on top of the hill being king of the hill, essentially.

    In 1942, when the Germans had to dig in ôn the southern front (before the push towards Stalingrad and the Caucasus), the Russians would often send wave after wave in an attempt to overrun the German trench lines. There are many German vet accounts stating that when their shift was supposed to take over the defensive lines the next morning, that they often found only one German survivor in their trenches, and that it used to be the MG gunner, with the ground in front of him usually being covered with hundreds of Russian bodies, so that you couldn't see the ground anymore. They called it "sea of [dead] people".
    Even though the Russians had tank or apc support, the coordination was poor, and the tanks either moved in with the troops, or retreated early when the infantry got shelled during the attack.
    This (consecutive waves/attacks, lack of coordination, ruthless manner, lack of doctrine implementation) can't be simulated right now.

    Back to the 2 Coys: so, if none of these is mounting an attack, and since both units can use defensive bonuses on city terrain, none of them should be forced to route. Both should be able to hold and defend their perimeters, exchange fire, and maybe suffer an X amount of casualties, as the result of an attritional defense, but not route.

    Not sure if my collection of observations and examples made sense.

    Whatsoever, the routing regime is the only detail I really never liked in this game.

    Imho, an EF game would need a change in doctrine/attack procedures to cater for the several (quality) levels of tactics and the several implementation levels of the deep thrust doctrine employed on the Russian side between 1942 and say 1944. Basically, a Russian unit from 1941/1942 would not act like a Russian unit from 1944. Somewhere between 1943 and 1944 the Russians had started to master that doctrine, along with the use of their combined artillery units/missions that were placed under Stavka and reorganized into brigades and divisions (starting in spring or mid 1942?) - and then rather employed centralized and even combined to a Corps as Army or Stavka asset.
     
  12. jimcarravallah

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    I understand what you're saying, but there is no "doctrine" that is defined in the Estabs or the SceneMaker.

    A good resemblance of one can be crafted by combining the measures I identified earlier for the artificial intelligence aspect of "troops" coupled with the attack and defend attributes available in-game for the human player. The artificial intelligence opponent, however, has to be crafted exclusively from the Estabs and SceneMaker, using the attributes I identified and the various weighting factors for objectives.
     
  13. GoodGuy

    GoodGuy Member

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    No. The AI (friendly and enemy) has attack routines, which Dave refined over the years, and which are used by both sides in the game. These are probably the core elements and can be taken as some kind of doctrine. In addition, you have the parameters/modifiers of the objective circles, which define what percentage of the force will be assigned to what task/objective, and which - of course - have an impact on the planning process. Once the forces are allocated, the enemy AI will send troops to the particular objectives, and will cross obstacles (rivers), maybe get in contact with large contingents that act as blocking forces, and might then decide to bypass those eventually, if the player force is too strong or too far away from the objective.

    If you give orders to divisional or regimental HQs, then you will often see brilliantly executed flanking manoeuvres (rgt or Bn), while a "fixing" ("grab them by the nose and kick them in the pants") force will attack the enemy head-on (rgt. or Bn). In the main, Russian units of 1941 or 1942 did not perform like that. They had deficits regarding unit organization/composition, command and control, an initial lack of radios, suffered of bad implementation of tactics and doctrines in the field, field and HQ commanders made a lot of bad decisions, and they suffered of a terrible lack of transportation, even well into 1943, despite the US truck deliveries, etc. etc. At one or another point in the war, there was a high chance that in some sectors the majority of the Russian transportation pool consisted of GMC (and other US/British brands) trucks. Up to early 1942 (and partially mid and late '42), offensive operations were usually disasters, quite frankly.

    During the large pincer movements of 1941, the Germans either cut through or shipped around large Russian contingents with tank forces (no inf), they got behind the Russians, creating large pockets in the process (which sometimes moved, due to Russian attempts to pull out), and then they used their Inf to seal the pockets, stop the movement of the pocket and mop up. On the Kerch peninsula, the Russians formed a bridgehead on the 30th of December, 1941, but the Germans then destroyed 3 Armies and knocked out an additional number of 18 divisions, while they lost only 1,700 troops (KIA), 3 StuGs and around 10 tanks, in May 1942. The Russian commanders made a fatal mistake, as they concentrated the bulk of their forces in the Kiet-Kerpech salient, thinking that the numerical advantage established in the salient would keep the Germans from attacking the entire bridgehead, and passed on the opportunity to create a defence in depth.
    In 1943, in the Kursk salient, the Russians had established a defence in depth with multiple layers, packed with (inf) AT guns, and mobile reserves that were able to perform attacks on the flanks or at the spearheads of the German thrusts. This resembled Montgomery's defence in depth at El Alamein, to some extent. In both situations, the Allies had time to prepare and knew where (and even when - at Kursk -) the Germans would attack, though.

    4 details should make it into an EF game, to up realism/historical accuracy:

    • Differing Doctrines and attack/defense methods and routines will be essential, if an EF game wants to realisticly depict operations of 1942, and if it also strives to be the base for future mission packs or community scenarios covering say 1943 or 1944, or even 1945 (Battle for Berlin, anyone? :p).

    • EDIT : Another detail would be radio ranges (as discussed in another thread), but also in particular the lack of equipment and/or radio range in Russian units of 1941/1942. It took Russian factories quite some time to meet the demands regarding signal equipment. On top of that, the Russians thought that a full complement of radios (means a radio in every tank of a tank coy) was not needed in armored units, initially.

    • minefields

    • tank breakdowns.

    That said, in order to cover the early and the late (experienced) Russian art of war, the game would have to hold 2 Russian doctrines. Historians would probably call it different levels of grasp on the commanders' ends (compare 1941 or '42 to '43/44), when it came to the implementation of a doctrine that was (known and taught, in theory, and) defined before the war (the roots are older, but the first manual - "Provisional Instructions for Organizing the Deep Battle" was created in 1933).
     
    #13 GoodGuy, Apr 30, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
  14. Kurt

    Kurt Member

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    When it comes to planning and executing attacks , CO2 has a "one size fits all" algorithm . Creating nation/theatre/period specific variants is necessary to reflect historical differences as mentioned .
     
  15. GoodGuy

    GoodGuy Member

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    Exactly, that's what I advocated up there.
     

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