The Stolberg Corridor AAR in one Image

Discussion in 'CO2 - After Action Reports' started by Daz, Nov 2, 2015.

  1. Daz

    Daz Member

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    I opened my Christmas present early sorry Dave :shame:
    The Stolburg Corridor win-01.jpg
     
    #1 Daz, Nov 2, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2015
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  2. Dave 'Arjuna' O'Connor

    Dave 'Arjuna' O'Connor Panther Games Designer

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    No you are not!

    Looks good.
     
  3. john connor

    john connor Member

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    What do you think, Daz? Even given your capabilities, needs some balancing? If so, you should say, because I didn't get to test Stolberg before it went out and Dave did say that if they needed tinkering with after release then it might be done. I would have thought, playing realistic, historical, normal that the casualties shouldn't be like that if it were play balanced, even with your capabilities. They shouldn't ever be too far from the historical, I think, when you play the historical variant. Setting aside how good you obviously are at the game, I think your comments on play balance would be really useful.

    Peter

    PS: Gorgeous map, isn't it?
     
    #3 john connor, Nov 4, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2015
  4. Daz

    Daz Member

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    I really enjoyed it mate.
    It was very refreshing being able to play a scenario for the first time, but already having a good grounding and a lot of experience as to how to play the game, but not knowing anything about the enemy reinforcements, or disposition other than what was in the briefing.

    I never found it that easy at all and had to really work at it.
    I must have spent about three hours working out a plan of action, examining the terrain for the best observation positions, routes and choke points, reading up on the capabilities of the units and learning the OOB, before I even pressed the play button.
    I think this preparation goes a long way to a good outcome, because when I first started playing the game many years ago, I spent about 10 min on the planning and the results were far less impressive!

    Dave is going to hate me for saying this but I think the Artillery needs livening up a bit for both sides.
    Somewhere between what it used to be like and what it is now.
    As a future request the enemy need to be able to do a preparatory bombardment for their attacks, not just react once they have managed to oust a unit out of its defensive position.
    I think this is what is upsetting the overall balance a bit in my games, The fact that I know how best to avoid a bombardment and also the best time to dish one out.

    But then this is on the normal difficulty setting, if I really wanted a greater challenge, then I would play with favor the enemy settings.
    I'm having good fun on the normal difficulty settings though so I don't see a need to change at the moment.
     
  5. john connor

    john connor Member

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    Mmm. Thanks. My own feeling is that you should have to do all that planning and be able, possibly, to get a dec vic, but still the disparity between your losses and his (and your vic points and his) shouldn't be so startling, and, since it's meant to be historical, shouldn't be so far from the historical result. If you're playing a non-historical option then I wouldn't mind. If that doesn't happen then it can be to do with the way the AI works, but it's important to build that into the play balance of each scenario, as much as is possible. You're right about the arty, I think - not about it needing livening up (I feel), but about how the human player can use it very differently to the AI, very much more effectively, so differently that I think really good players (like yourself) should have a house rule to leave arty to the AI and not command it directly. That evens it up a bit. It's not so much the number of casualties you can cause with the arty, but its devastating effect on halting movement. As a human you can use this MUCH more effectively than the AI can.

    But really I should try the scenario playing it in my usual sloppy way. I imagine I would also get a dec vic, but with much more losses than you. Which, again, to me, would mean that it should be balanced differently (in order to encourage greater care through the final victory level, not just because you have, as it were, a house rule to try to limit casualties as much as possible, as you do).

    Peter
     
  6. john connor

    john connor Member

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    Be great to see you try the Overloon 2 scenario, which I did test a bit, and which was rebalanced a bit. Just to see if the process made a difference.
     
  7. Daz

    Daz Member

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    The trouble with leaving the Arty to the AI is you won't get any more of a historical outcome, because the game doesn't know how to use it historically.
    This can leave a side with overwhelming artillery (usually the attacker, and the side I prefer to play the most) at a historical disadvantage
    Artillery was indispensable on the offensive and the defensive for FPF fire, although it was mush more common for a defending unit to be without it than for an attacking one.
    There is no way any of the major powers would start a major offensive operation without a good quantity of artillery and any attack was almost always preceded by a preparatory bombardment.
    So by not using the artillery effectively as the player, your not going to get any more of a historical outcome because you may have most of your manpower tied up in artillery units that just aren't historically pulling their weight, leaving you at a huge disadvantage.
    My opinion is not to rely to much on a historical outcome in your scenarios, but more to play the way you have most fun and try to behave how you would of as a historical commander.

    I am definitely an artillery proponent, (probably has something to do with me having been an artillery, air, and naval gunfire observer lol) and I'm not happy to let the AI handle the artillery because It doesn't do a good enough job for my enjoyment.
    Playing like this most definitely gives me an advantage, but like I said, if I want more of a challenge I play the underdog or I can always ramp up the difficulty with the favor the enemy options.

    I would like the enemy AI to do a better job with their own artillery though, which is why I suggest that its adjusted again to come somewhere between how it used to be and how it is now.
     
  8. Daz

    Daz Member

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    Hey Pete, I have just played the Ordeal at Overloon scenario and this scenario is ideal as an example to show what I was talking about when I said how you have, in this case, over half of your manpower tied up in artillery units not pulling their weight, unless you take control of them yourself.

    There are 1917 personnel, 132 AFV's, 40 non AFV's and 24 guns in the line units.
    There are 2316 personnel, 115 AFV's, 304 non AFV's and 108 guns in the artillery units.

    As you know the game is not capable of conducting a preparatory bombardment before an attack. which is the most major of its shortcomings in my opinion. As I have said many times before this leaves the attacking side at a tremendous historical disadvantage and one of the reasons I don't enjoy playing the defending side.
    There is no way to tell the AI where your center of gravity is and therefore where you want the maximum support from the artillery units.
    There is no way to allocate ammunition, so no way for the guns to know how much ammunition you are prepared to expend over a set period of time, or any way to prioritize targets. By this I don't mean the priority for resupply, I mean the duration and number of rounds to expend in a set period of time, or its activity level if you like. Neutralize everything you see, only infantry in open, or only attacking units for example.
    Unless of course you take control of it yourself, which is exactly what I do.

    Most of the bigger artillery is held at the Divisional level but even down to Battalion level the Divisional commander can have influence on how it is used.
    With every request for fire is sent a description of the target.
    These fire missions are monitored by higher level Fire Direction Centers and the request for fire can easily be upgraded, or rarely down graded by higher echelons.
    So taking more control of the artillery in game as the On Map Boss is not as far from being "realistic" as you might think, in my opinion.

    If you remember we had a discussion on attaching artillery to the attacking formations on the matrix forum a while back where I explained that it just doesn't work properly.
    The last thing posted on that thread was me asking if Dave wanted to support the feature but he didn't reply so I figured he didn't.

    http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3286717&mpage=3

    If you remember in his tutorial video, he advocates using the artillery manually to conduct a preparatory bombardment during an attack.
    I imagine that to try to code this sort of behavior into the AI would be extremely complex and in most cases still not meet the end users requirements.
    Arty V Line_0000_Arty.jpg Arty V Line_0001_Line units.jpg
     
    #8 Daz, Nov 6, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2015

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