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Night attacks by AI

Kensal

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Does anyone have any successful experience in dealing with AI night attacks.

My experience is that I can take an objective during the day and defend it during the day but when night falls I find that AI units become almost unstoppable whatever I do. If I place my units in a defensive posture they invariably get bumped off the objective taking heavy casualties. Tank units get burned up by infantry attacks, even when supported by infantry.

If I respond with counterattacks I cannot make any headway.

I often get the feeling that AI can spot my units at night while my units cannot spot the AI units.

Any advice would be welcome.
 
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Does anyone have any successful experience in dealing with AI night attacks.

My experience is that I can take an objective during the day and defend it during the day but when night falls I find that AI units become almost unstoppable whatever I do. If I place my units in a defensive posture they invariably get bumped off the objective taking heavy casualties. Tank units get burned up by infantry attacks, even when supported by infantry.

If I respond with counterattacks I cannot make any headway.

I often get the feeling that AI can spot my units at night while my units cannot spot the AI units.

Any advice would be welcome.
Night attacks are controlled by a number of factors including combat troop health with a baseline established in the Estabs as modified upward or downward by the level of rest or amount of activity performed prior to the attack by the game engine; visibility as modified by time of day and weather in the game engine; and visibility as modified by terrain on the map.

So it's difficult to determine if the AI has some advantage in the gameplay or was designed to be more nighttime capable than friendly troops without identifying the scenario or (ideally) a game save where the anomaly you cite takes place.
 

GoodGuy

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So it's difficult to determine if the AI has some advantage in the gameplay or was designed to be more nighttime capable than friendly troops without identifying the scenario or (ideally) a game save where the anomaly you cite takes place.
I don't think that the AI has an advantage. I am not totally sure, but does the game consider full moon nights, means where the light of a full moon actually provides a certain level of visibility that allows for larger engagements?
What the game does not factor in/render is battlefield illumination techniques, though. As some Armies used flares extensively (eg. like the British forces in North Africa, like the Germans in all theaters and like the Russians), the visibility at night could be enhanced tremendously. Modern flares fired from Artillery pieces can illuminate a circle with a diameter of 2.5 kilometers. The flares fired from flare pistols used by German, British and Russian troops could provide visibilities of 80 meters up to ~200 meters or even more. Flares fired by German mortar units could illuminate way larger areas, the same goes for artillery-born flares.
That said, the game's AI is able to jump on the player units' toes, at times, means AI units pop up at distances of around 400-600 meters (sighting age "current", reliabilty "vague") in front of the player's units and keep assaulting/moving (either without exchanging fire, due to the visibility conditions, or with the defending player units firing sporadically only) until they virtually sit on the player's "lap", at a distance of 80-100 meters.
In reality, with proper illumination of the approach paths a defending unit would have chucked out everything at the assaulting unit, but even with less than ideal illumination, a battle at night wasn't exactly an event that occured in complete darkness, with all the muzzle flashes, tracer rounds and explosions/fires, especially in urban areas or villages and with preparatory artillery barrages (where the use of incendiary rounds was an option). Still, while the Russians loved to mount large night attacks (especially winter/spring 1942, southern front) against fortified German lines, with corresponding failure rates/high losses (due to German flares illuminating the approaches and ordering rolling reverse barrages), and while the US and Britain dropped airborne units in Normandy (US Rangers and British Gurkhas also performed a series of brilliant night attacks in Italy), night attacks weren't the norm, despite the availability of flares.
In North Africa, in turn, night attacks were often the only way to secretely clear the enemy's mine belts and then breach the first defensive line with tanks and infantry.
 
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Arkadiy

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Something to consider (although, it's a serious change in game mechanics, but just for fun) - for movement in low visibility conditions (night, snow, sandstorm), there are recorded cases of units not arriving where they were supposed to go, getting lost along the way and attacking wrong objectives. Could be similar to bombardment error - you tell someone to move, if the circumstances aren't right, they end up hell knows where!

Here is US 2nd Corps, one of last actions in Tunisia:

The attack opened auspiciously at 0300, but soon ran into difficulties. The 3d Battalion, 18th Infantry, on the left diverged to the northeast from its planned route of approach and lost contact with the 1st Battalion. It was caught on the open plain at daylight near the base of an enemy-occupied hill and subjected to the devastating crossfire of machine guns and mortars.

Also Tunisia (9ID, March 28th 1943):

The 47th Infantry which had moved into assembly positions (see Map, Appendix A) 26-27 March, began its advance to the east by moonlight in the early morning hours of 28 March in a column of battalions. By 0600 the regiment had reached a point about one mile west of El Hamra, which was through error reported to be Hill 369. Its leading battalion was soon stopped by fire from that ridge, but the 3rd Battalion the second in the column, maneuvered to the south and the ridge was captured. The last battalion in column, the 2nd, prior to daylight had been directed to maneuver still further to the south through the scattered and difficult terrain near Djebels Lettouchi and Kreroua. While it was still dark this battalion was caught in a pocket by devastating fire and the personnel of one complete company (Company "E",47th Infantry) was killed or captured. The location of the remainder of the battalion was not ascertained for the next thirty-six hours. Meanwhile the 1st Battalion,39th Infantry which had followed the 47th, was committed on Division order and instructed to extend the envelopment further to the south. This battalion became lost and was not engaged on the first day.
 
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Something to consider (although, it's a serious change in game mechanics, but just for fun) - for movement in low visibility conditions (night, snow, sandstorm), there are recorded cases of units not arriving where they were supposed to go, getting lost along the way and attacking wrong objectives. Could be similar to bombardment error - you tell someone to move, if the circumstances aren't right, they end up hell knows where!

Here is US 2nd Corps, one of last actions in Tunisia:

The attack opened auspiciously at 0300, but soon ran into difficulties. The 3d Battalion, 18th Infantry, on the left diverged to the northeast from its planned route of approach and lost contact with the 1st Battalion. It was caught on the open plain at daylight near the base of an enemy-occupied hill and subjected to the devastating crossfire of machine guns and mortars.

Also Tunisia (9ID, March 28th 1943):

The 47th Infantry which had moved into assembly positions (see Map, Appendix A) 26-27 March, began its advance to the east by moonlight in the early morning hours of 28 March in a column of battalions. By 0600 the regiment had reached a point about one mile west of El Hamra, which was through error reported to be Hill 369. Its leading battalion was soon stopped by fire from that ridge, but the 3rd Battalion the second in the column, maneuvered to the south and the ridge was captured. The last battalion in column, the 2nd, prior to daylight had been directed to maneuver still further to the south through the scattered and difficult terrain near Djebels Lettouchi and Kreroua. While it was still dark this battalion was caught in a pocket by devastating fire and the personnel of one complete company (Company "E",47th Infantry) was killed or captured. The location of the remainder of the battalion was not ascertained for the next thirty-six hours. Meanwhile the 1st Battalion,39th Infantry which had followed the 47th, was committed on Division order and instructed to extend the envelopment further to the south. This battalion became lost and was not engaged on the first day.
Unit morale, fatigue and cohesion increase more rapidly during night and in some poor weather operations. While a unit may not necessarily lose its way, increases in the negative health measures will result in a range of failures from serious delay to abandonment of the order and routing to a rally point to recover.
 

GoodGuy

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Unit morale, fatigue and cohesion increase more rapidly during night and in some poor weather operations. While a unit may not necessarily lose its way, increases in the negative health measures will result in a range of failures from serious delay to abandonment of the order and routing to a rally point to recover.
It may be like that in the game, but in wartime procedures and results could be different.

During the German onslaught in France in 1940, the German inf units (non-motorized) following the motorized units had to perform forced marches and follow the path of the spearheading motorized units. To do so, they marched 4 hours, halted and rested (slept) on the roadside for 4 hrs and then marched another 4 hrs. Quite often, they would rest another few hours and then march again until midnight, in some instance even past midnight, if the last rest was a "full" 4-hrs period.

Veterans reported that the regime was kept for 3 or 4 days, straight. Many foot units kept up this regime for a few days until they had reached their interim goals or until the troops were totally exhausted. They would then rest for a half day or even a full day, before picking up the described cycle for another 1 or 2 days.
Veterans reported that they went through 2 or 3 pairs of boots during these forced marches in France.

A rather brutal (and pretty desperate) regime (dictated by the Russians) was maintained when the Germans had to retreat during the massive Russian offensive in the South in 1943, when the bulk of the German inf units had to retreat (I'd call it "run") from Taganrog via Mariupol, Perekop to Kherson (near the Dnjepr), if they didn't get a chance to evac by train from Mariupol or Stalino (both railroad hubs), via Nikopol (station), Zaorozhye (hub) to Krivoi Rog (station) or Kershon (=Cherson, hub).
Troops in non-motorized units had to cover the whole distance of 500 km along the coast (Taganrog - Kherson) on foot, where in theory either the slowest unit or the unit with the best equipment or health had to perform rearguard duties, but where quite often the Russians chased so hard, that the rearguards started to run themselves, resulting in constant fighting withdrawals, almost all along the retreat. In some areas the Russians halted after 300 km, but only because they had run out of fuel or ammunition, and because the supply units had to link up again, then they started to push again.
Quite often, the Germans would perform fighting withdrawals during the day and use lulls at night to steal away and to get some distance.
If I am not mistaken, this ordeal took weeks and months, until the Germans could establish temporary defensive lines (which were overrun eventually) and collection points, until they managed to establish a defensive line at the Dnjepr in December.
The detailed Veteran account I read about the retreat along or near the coastline described that the retreat involved weeks of marching, rerouting (which made it a trip of like 600 km for some units) and the constant danger of encirclement in the areas further north. I might dig out the report some time, it was pretty chilling, as it also emphasized that weak soldiers who weren't able to perform the marches and who didn't want to end up in Russian captivity were given Pervetin.

In the Pacific, Japanese units started their attacks when the sun came up, at first, but then increasingly resorted to (or added) night attacks, in areas with accurate Allied artillery fire. Pre-arranged Allied bombardments still kicked in, though, sometimes even just from single guns (eg. Autralian single arty at the Kokoda trail, or US arty on Guadalcanal or other islands), or fully fledged mortar units. US inf units would then rest during the day and prepare for helluva battle at night, for instance.
I think (and hope) that the fatigue regime and rules in the game have been changed, as a unit that had been ordered to rest/idle during the day, should be able to perform combat or march at night.
In confined areas, on fixed fronts, or during the first 48 hrs of an offensive, quite some units (Axis and Allies) had only 1 hr of sleep here and 2 hrs of sleep there, or they had to sleep in short shifts (eg. 4 hrs) or during lulls, before they could go back to a somewhat more humane regime again. I am not sure whether the engine considers such historical regimes, or not.
The Bundeswehr's Guard Bn securing the site of the old German Ministry of Defense still had a 24-hrs shift regime going in the late 80s/early 90s: 4 hrs patroling/guard post and 4 hrs of sleep for 24 hrs, and that was a (albeit special) peacetime shift. Just saying.
 
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It may be like that in the game, but in wartime procedures and results could be different.

During the German onslaught in France in 1940, the German inf units (non-motorized) following the motorized units had to perform forced marches and follow the path of the spearheading motorized units. To do so, they marched 4 hours, halted and rested (slept) on the roadside for 4 hrs and then marched another 4 hrs. Quite often, they would rest another few hours and then march again until midnight, in some instance even past midnight, if the last rest was a "full" 4-hrs period.

Veterans reported that the regime was kept for 3 or 4 days, straight. Many foot units kept up this regime for a few days until they had reached their interim goals or until the troops were totally exhausted. They would then rest for a half day or even a full day, before picking up the described cycle for another 1 or 2 days.
Veterans reported that they went through 2 or 3 pairs of boots during these forced marches in France.

A rather brutal (and pretty desperate) regime (dictated by the Russians) was maintained when the Germans had to retreat during the massive Russian offensive in the South in 1943, when the bulk of the German inf units had to retreat (I'd call it "run") from Taganrog via Mariupol, Perekop to Kherson (near the Dnjepr), if they didn't get a chance to evac by train from Mariupol or Stalino (both railroad hubs), via Nikopol (station), Zaorozhye (hub) to Krivoi Rog (station) or Kershon (=Cherson, hub).
Troops in non-motorized units had to cover the whole distance of 500 km along the coast (Taganrog - Kherson) on foot, where in theory either the slowest unit or the unit with the best equipment or health had to perform rearguard duties, but where quite often the Russians chased so hard, that the rearguards started to run themselves, resulting in constant fighting withdrawals, almost all along the retreat. In some areas the Russians halted after 300 km, but only because they had run out of fuel or ammunition, and because the supply units had to link up again, then they started to push again.
Quite often, the Germans would perform fighting withdrawals during the day and use lulls at night to steal away and to get some distance.
If I am not mistaken, this ordeal took weeks and months, until the Germans could establish temporary defensive lines (which were overrun eventually) and collection points, until they managed to establish a defensive line at the Dnjepr in December.
The detailed Veteran account I read about the retreat along or near the coastline described that the retreat involved weeks of marching, rerouting (which made it a trip of like 600 km for some units) and the constant danger of encirclement in the areas further north. I might dig out the report some time, it was pretty chilling, as it also emphasized that weak soldiers who weren't able to perform the marches and who didn't want to end up in Russian captivity were given Pervetin.

In the Pacific, Japanese units started their attacks when the sun came up, at first, but then increasingly resorted to (or added) night attacks, in areas with accurate Allied artillery fire. Pre-arranged Allied bombardments still kicked in, though, sometimes even just from single guns (eg. Autralian single arty at the Kokoda trail, or US arty on Guadalcanal or other islands), or fully fledged mortar units. US inf units would then rest during the day and prepare for helluva battle at night, for instance.
I think (and hope) that the fatigue regime and rules in the game have been changed, as a unit that had been ordered to rest/idle during the day, should be able to perform combat or march at night.
In confined areas, on fixed fronts, or during the first 48 hrs of an offensive, quite some units (Axis and Allies) had only 1 hr of sleep here and 2 hrs of sleep there, or they had to sleep in short shifts (eg. 4 hrs) or during lulls, before they could go back to a somewhat more humane regime again. I am not sure whether the engine considers such historical regimes, or not.
The Bundeswehr's Guard Bn securing the site of the old German Ministry of Defense still had a 24-hrs shift regime going in the late 80s/early 90s: 4 hrs patroling/guard post and 4 hrs of sleep for 24 hrs, and that was a (albeit special) peacetime shift. Just saying.
Thanks for the history lesson.

The issue is whether the game can duplicate the situations you mention, and it does.

The troops incur the effects in the game because it's a realistic outcome of working them on minimum rest and the fact that operations performed in the dark can result in assets becoming disoriented uncoordinated with support or those they may be required to support in the dark.

The game allows for high intensity operations at night by going with minimum rest -- doesn't change the adverse health aspects, but allows operations progress in the dark, even if less efficiently than in daytime -- very similar to all the operational methods you mention.

How do I know this?

Study the attached and then maybe you can get a taste of what I had to do professionally through influencing design of vehicle systems to they can be operated efficiently, reliably, and in the event of a failure, repaired efficiently and quickly.

chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/viewer.html?pdfurl=https%3A%2F%2Fndiastorage.blob.core.usgovcloudapi.net%2Fndia%2F2008%2Fmaneuver%2FDrillings.pdf&clen=1331601
 
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