GPQ - Move or Defend?

Discussion in 'CO2 - Game Support' started by Sidekick, May 20, 2018.

  1. Sidekick

    Sidekick Member

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    Hello All,

    I apologize for the relatively newbie question. I could not find any discussion of the topic on the forums. If there is already a thread that refers, please tell me where to go (literally and figuratively).

    I am coming back to this series after a number of years. I actually did a bit of graphics work on HTTR all those years ago (I even have a prized Panther Games plaque to prove it!). But I had not kept up with the series until I discovered it a few weeks ago. I have been trying manfully to master the art of Command Ops-ing since then having downloaded the basic game and one module (Cauldron).

    Before we begin - Yes, I have read the manual (several times). Yes, I have watched the tutorial and some let's play videos. Yes, I have consumed DAZ's excellent AAR's. I have played the Saint Vith Scenario a few times and the Greyhound dash scenario several times from both sides. I am now trying some of the simpler Cauldron scenarios.

    Still I have some pretty basic questions about what is going on under the hood. So, let's start with this one.

    When does one use a Move order vs a Defend Order? As far as I can tell both orders will end up with the subject unit or formation, in position, in the formation that is ordered with specified depth and frontage. I assume that either way the unit will be defending and the aggro and other options specified in the order will apply. All order options are available for both types of order. What's the difference? When does one choose one over the other? Again, sorry if the answer is obvious and I am just being thick.
     
  2. Rob

    Rob Member

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    Hi,

    It's a good question..........I would suggest (though I'm hardly an expert) that the difference lies in how the "friendly" AI issues and implements it's orders/tasks etc.

    By this I mean that issuing a defend order will allow the AI to pick it's own route, formation, aggro, speed etc. to get there while you focus what you want to do at the destination whereas the move order focuses you on the details of the move itself and the AI focuses on the destination.

    Hope that helps. And I'm probably wrong.....;)

    Rob.
     
  3. Dave 'Arjuna' O'Connor

    Dave 'Arjuna' O'Connor Panther Games Designer

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    Essentially, that's right. Well done Rob.
     
  4. Sidekick

    Sidekick Member

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    Excellent! Very helpful. Thanks .

    Now, supplemental question. In a situation where you are advancing to contact toward an objective where you a fairly certain there is an enemy concentration - but where the route passes through multiple terrain types. There would appear to be a few options from - micromanaging each "bound" using move orders. All the way to issuing one probe or assault order using a likely FUP short of the objective.

    Other options might seem to include - detaching one sub unit to recce the route and moving the main body one bound behind.

    So a couple of quick questions to the community - what option do you prefer or what factors do you consider in making the choice .

    A more "crunchy" game mechanics question - if formation is left unspecified, does the AI adjust formation to respond to terrain as it moves - and does the aggro option affect what formation it chooses?

    Thanks again .
     
  5. jimcarravallah

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    It really depends on how far in advance you want to plan.

    If you're advancing to contact with a pretty sure enemy concentration, but the terrain type and distance of the route to that point allows for a a defense in depth, I think it would be better to probe prospective routes with scout unit(s) setting their aggressiveness to that which accomplishes the end mission on a preferred schedule with a reasonable chance of success.

    By that I mean, probe to a first contact, and if it's not your objective, stop the game once your probe has determined the amount of enemy resistance the force faces and either set up an attack with an allocation of the main force to disrupt / remove the obstruction, or set the route for the main forces to bypass the obstruction on the way to the assembly point for primary attack.

    If you're reasonably certain there would be few or relatively small disrupting enemy forces between your attacking force and the objective despite the terrain types and distance, then send the attack force minus a small reserve toward the objective and let it deal with any small disruptions along the way, either allocating reserve forces to protect supply lines or, if not required for that, to add a final punch to the assault.
     
  6. Sidekick

    Sidekick Member

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    Excellent. Again, very helpful. But, again, just to be a little bit thick about things when you say "probe to a first contact" do you mean using a "Probe" order? Or a "Move" order? Seems to me for a lengthy advance to contact it would have to be a move order since it would not be clear where to set the FUP.

    If guess you would want to set the aggro and casualties to low and set the Attack option so that when resistance is encountered it would probe the Defense but stop and bunker down if it turned out to be real resistance? Does that sound right.

    As you can probably tell, I am trying to come to grips with the concept of a competent AI and how to "explain" my intent rather than trying to micro-manage the war .

    In the same vein - how would suggest handling the main body following the recce. Do you issue multiple sequential move orders to try to keep it one bound behind the advanced guard? Does that introduce a lot of orders delay? Do you wait until you get contact and then issue orders to move and assault? Sorry for all the questions - especially if they seem obvious. As I said, I'm really trying to understand how they AI responds so that I can learn to use it effectively .
     
  7. jimcarravallah

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    The difference between a probe and a move order is how the force is set up to accomplish the mission.

    In a move order, the primary means to advance is in line organized to cover distance as quickly as possible. When in a move formation, the force is at its least protected organization and will take more casualties upon becoming engaged as a result.

    In a probe order, the primary means to advance may still be in line, but the force is aware that it may become engaged, so it is set up to quickly transition to a stance that reduces casualties upon becoming engaged.

    If I'm setting up with a recce unit as a probe and a main body to follow along the route if safe, I'll set the probe end point at a point where I would expect to gain contact along the way, and issue a move order for the remaining force to follow along to a point short of the recce unit's objective.

    I'll either watch the advance of the probe, or work on other things and monitor messages while it is being conducted.

    When the probe reaches contact, I'll pause the game, and issue new orders for both the probing force (defend, attack, withdraw to a safer location), and the main body that is following (move but bypass the enemy, or attack / defend at the point where the enemy was contacted).

    What I consider "micromanaging" is issuing orders to the lowest units in the echelon of command to accomplish a single task (company A attack from the left, company B defend in the middle, company C stand in reserve, heavy weapons platoon attack on the right, Mortar platoon bombard the objective etc.).

    If the probe is with a recce squad, and the main body is a battalion, I'll issue the appropriate orders to the recce squad to protect it from damage, and the main body order to the battalion HQ trusting the AI to accomplish the mission at that level.
     

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