AI Performance

Discussion in 'Command Ops Series' started by BigDuke66, May 28, 2015.

  1. GoodGuy

    GoodGuy Member

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    Nice one. Can't wait to get to know how much time they will need to recover (and how much time it will take to "convince" them to start their 2nd day of force marching). :D
     
  2. BigDuke66

    BigDuke66 Member

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    I think the "Extrawurst" ist just what we need here, simply look at how the game works, wetgher or not the way fatigue works has to be revisited has to be seen but is there anything that "boosts" a unit?
    I don't think so, but I think that could be needed in various situations, not only to cover drug abuse but to cover any situation were a unit mobilizes strength to deliver a performance that you would not think it had in it when looking at its values.
    That can be drug abuse, but that also can be cut off units that run for their lives(especially on the Russian front) or any other constellation.

    So I suggest think about adding a way to "boost" a units values so that its performance is raised, how and on on what that will be based, a different fatigue algorithm when using drugs or based on being cut off far behind enemy lines and are given order to reach friendly lines, has to be seen.
     
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  3. Kurt

    Kurt Member

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    Wow this thread is on fire ! I like the idea of a "BOOST" ability for some elite foot units and/or all German infantry to enable them to force march as described above. Whilst on the subject of "COMBAT DRUGS" is it possible that the strange,highly aggressive behaviour of some German infantry units attacking US positions during the Ardennes/Nordwind offensive was down to these or similar drugs ? I think armoured units should use a different calculation for fatigue, they should only suffer fatigue through combat and not movement.
     
    #23 Kurt, May 31, 2015
    Last edited: May 31, 2015
  4. GoodGuy

    GoodGuy Member

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    That goes for some units during the Ardennes offensive, definetly, and I mentioned that in one of my previous posts, already, when I described German units attacking and storming towards US positions fearlessly/continiously, and where US vets reported about German soldiers having weird glances (right word?) in their eyes and showing no mercy at all. That was Pervitin, other "similar drugs" were not around (not in sufficient quantities, at least).

    I am not sure if the Germans had handed out Pervitin on a similar level for Nordwind. But for the Ardennes offensive, higher echelons tried to play it down, means they tried to keep a low profile regarding the issuance, to avoid that troops would get the impression that offensive operations could only be carried out when using boosters, and to avoid that troops would start thinking the higher ups wouldn't have confidence in their abilities anymore, it seems. According to German vets and historians, additional (to what was prescribed/handed out by field surgeons, or sent by families) amounts of Pervitin were provided, and then Coy commanders asked if they would want the stuff for their units. Like I said before, actual usage was then down to these commanders, and quite some either denied to order their troops to take Pervitin, or even let the troops decide if they'd take it or not. I've seen a German veteran on TV who reported that in his unit, with a high amount of very young soldiers, the youngsters were lied about the nature of the drug, as they were told these pills were nutritional supplements or something like that, pretty much like today's energy bars (means harmless, but providing some extra energy).

    Yes, but they should also be able to disengage and relocate, even after hrs of combat, as driver and assistant driver could then work with a shift system, sleeping + driving in turns.
     
    #24 GoodGuy, May 31, 2015
    Last edited: May 31, 2015
  5. BigDuke66

    BigDuke66 Member

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    Regarding armour or vehicles in general, as there isn't any maintenance needed in the game I don't mind that fatigues build up instead to cover this even when it's in an abstract way, vehicles also need "rest" and while fatigue may not be the best it is surely better than nothing. We can't simply say such units only gain fatigue in combat and that's it.
    I'm not sure if there isn't already a different fatigue model for vehicle only units, maybe Dave can say something about it.
    Anyhow as long as there isn't a maintenance value in the force dialog I rather go with fatigue or else we have such units going on and on much to much.

    Regarding relocating, I wonder if there is any difference in the orders and there effects on fatigue whiel traveling, lets say I order a unit to move some kilometers to a village, does that cause the same fatigue as if I would order the unit to defend that village?
    I just wonder if the player could order to "move only" and by that have the unit in a none combat ready state but also building up less fatigue as just the drivers are on station while the rest takes a nap.
     
    #25 BigDuke66, May 31, 2015
    Last edited: May 31, 2015
  6. GoodGuy

    GoodGuy Member

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    Vehicles and equipment needed maintenance, of course, but not on the same level as aircraft, for example, where some types/engines required up to 28-30 hrs of maintenance to gain 1 hour of operation, despite the finicky gearboxes and tracks some tank types/versions had featured, where some inexperienced drivers either ruined the gearbox or caused the tank to throw a track, and it really didn't take a brutal driver to throw a track. US Shermans trying to follow the Kall trail in the Huertgen Forest area kept losing their tracks, until US engineers widened the trail with explosives, as the tanks' tracks kept rubbing on the rock face of the rocky slope on the trail's right side, when they were trying to avoid the descent or ditch on the left side. The immobilized Shermans were then just pushed into the ditch, so that supply columns and reinforcements could pass (I think the whole process took 1 or 2 days).

    But maintenance of operational equipment usually involved other things, like troops had to make sure that axle bearings of towed guns or say axle bearing of trucks were lubricated. I can imagine that the same applied to a tank's sprockets, and mud, dirt and rubble had be removed as well, once in a while, at least. Crews also had to replace sections of tank tracks or replace sprocket wheels. Also, if vehicles had a radiator, a proper level of water had to be maintained.
    In autumn 1944, when the production of motor engine fuel and lubricants started to cripple, the lack of lubricants started to become a serious issue, but I have not heard or read that it actually crippled movement of armoured formations, unlike the apparent lack of fuel. Since such maintenance tasks were usually performed during transfers or outside combat areas, they do not have to be rendered, it can be assumed that such tasks were performed during periods of rest or inactivity.
    Field repairs were carried out, too, not all damaged tanks or tanks with breakdowns were sent/towed to the Coy's repair shops, as the Germans employed workshop trucks and tank retrievers, enabling them to provide field repairs (even engine extractions with either the tank retriever's crane or the crane they brought, to allow for engine repairs or replacement/repair of the gearbox), even sometimes under fire.

    Reloading ammunition actually did impact a unit's (or tank's) behavior, though. The German standard procedure in combat was that a tank with a sufficient ammunition level would cover a tank that was low on ammo, sometimes even with its "body", to allow for getting it to a safe zone to resupply, in cases where the other tank(s) was (were) still needed/busy.
    There were quite a few instances where the Germans ignored such safety measures and where in Ardennes villages tanks of tank Coys or groups basically just pulled back behind the next corner, where they then ordered their supply truck to send more shells or canisters with fuel. While such carelessness (or desperation?) caused the loss of some supply trucks, the main reason for the rather quickly shrinking supply truck-pool in the Ardennes was the rough terrain: there were lots of mechanical breakdowns (broken axles, boiling radiators, etc), but quite some trucks ran out of fuel, too, because the spearheading armored units had received most of the precious fuel, so that the large fuel stock that had been gathered and parked on the right side of the Rhein river (near Cologne) could then not be used on a level the planners had actually envisioned.
    Whatsoever, the general procedure was to pull out tanks once they were empty (usually keeping one or another shell as backup) and to get them to a safe/concealed position off the immediate combat zone, when they were supposed to return/engage again.

    EDIT : It would be desirable if the AI would have the ability to perform this procedure. Emergency supply was carried out, though, and it seems that its present in the game (unless I misinterpret the meaning of "emergency supply"). The majority of resupply jobs were performed somewhat off the immediate combat zones, though, so the AI should be able to perform such tasks, without them affecting the planning process. This is probably a bigger (programming) task, because such units have to be pulled out off the combat zone, pretty much in the same manner where currently an AI "boss" pulls back a unit to put it on reserve.

    This whole thing probably involves the creation/programming of a decated reserve group (which I suggested some 6 or 7 years ago, btw. :D), an even bigger task. A dedicated Reserve Group would also enable the AI to form Kampfgruppen and then employ them independently elsewhere or in support of the main group, say as firebrigade (needed for covering the Russian theater, imho).

    The current system (or policy) does not cater for the generally higher level of mobility in armored formations. If such a formation had fuel, it was able to disengage, no matter what level of fatigue was actually present.

    That would actually be more realistic. The usal travel range of a tank formation was around 80 - 100 kilometers, before parts of it had to be refueled, as many units' layouts contained gas guzzlers. For instance, a PzIV Ausf. H or J had a range of ~300 km (road) or 180 km (cross-country), but the Panther tank had a range of ~170 km (road, probably less than 100 km cross country) only.

    For longer distances, and if not engaging, a unit's tank elements were always redeployed by railway, and they would "just" march the remaining distance to combat zones or FUPs, before being committed.

    That said, despite tank units (especially the independent heavy tank Bns) often being employed as firebrigades continuously, traveling and redeployment offered a shyteload of opportunities to rest, to word it frankly, in ADDITION to tanks and vehicles having assistant drivers or backup drivers at their disposal.
     
    #26 GoodGuy, May 31, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2015
  7. Daz

    Daz Member

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    Unfortunately it was a bit more complicated than expected as they were low on Basics, which complicated the fatigue recovery.
    It did take a long time for them to recover by the way.
    I think it was about 3% fatigue recovery per hour, deployed out in the open in light rain.

    I spent some time setting up another test with a lot more units involved that had better supply.

    I have been flat out at work since then though, trying to get all my customers who I promised I would get to before I went on vacation sorted.
    When I get back in a few weeks I'll do a more in depth test to see how long they recover when properly supplied.
     
  8. Dave 'Arjuna' O'Connor

    Dave 'Arjuna' O'Connor Panther Games Designer

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    Have a good holiday Daz. May it be filled with plenty of this: :headphone::singing::playful::joyful:
     
  9. Daz

    Daz Member

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    Thanks Dave :woot:
    I have a couple of days before I go and am going to be putting the game through its paces, so you have something to do while I am gone :p
     

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