Unknowns and Civilians

General discussion about Armored Brigade.

Unknowns and Civilians

Postby Veitikka » Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:17 am

I was inspired by this idea that you cannot engage unidentified units. I was thinking about making the fully unidentified units to behave like the units spotted from scout helicopters, meaning that the icon starts disappearing right after being spotted. The unit loses this ability permanently after it has fired (also its friendly units close to it) or has been fully/partially identified. I think this will make it easy to implement and a more fair game for the AI. Also it's easy to add false "civilian" contacts that spawn around roads ("vehicles") and urban areas ("troops").

More coming up later.
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Re: Unknowns and Civilians

Postby Veitikka » Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:48 am

I think it's best to set the level of civilian contacts in the Battle Generator and in the scenario XML files. The contacts appear only at ranges where a real unit would be fully unidentified, so with the current settings it would mean infantry contacts where the LOS is 0-75%, and vehicle contacts where the LOS is 0-25%. For example, if your unit can see 4000 meters then the farthest infantry contacts can appear at 1000-4000 meters and vehicle contacts at 3000-4000 meters. The scout helicopters detect them at all ranges, if they have a LOS.

It's possible that exact locations of all unknown contacts are somewhat randomized, because otherwise it's easy to tell which one is real (the defender has all icons in the center of grid squares, the attacker has them displaced after moving).
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Re: Unknowns and Civilians

Postby Veitikka » Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:42 am

If it's done this way then it can mean that you cannot attack enemy infantry units until they're about 1km away from one of your units, maybe even closer. That's quite a change...

Another issue is the AI artillery. If I leave it as it is then the AI won't call artillery to the unknown targets that are detected via ground spotting, so it will be even more passive.
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Re: Unknowns and Civilians

Postby Brahmin3 » Sun Oct 21, 2012 4:22 pm

If it's done this way then it can mean that you cannot attack enemy infantry units until they're about 1km away from one of your units, maybe even closer. That's quite a change...

That's why a good defence layout have some eyes up forward.

Also, if, say, a tank is identified as enemy one, it's likely that those guys moving in lines around him are likely to be enemies too, not civs or friendlies. So the same logic as with return fire can applied in this case, marking all units in a set distance as enemy.

BTW, if a unit is identified as enemy it may be useful to retain his identification for some time (5-15 minutes?) even if the LOS if broken so we won't have to reID a tank that just disappeared for 30 seconds in a low ground.

Another issue is the AI artillery. If I leave it as it is then the AI won't call artillery to the unknown targets that are detected via ground spotting, so it will be even more passive.

I don't think that AI firing arillery on any contact is good, anyway. My experience so far show that artillery is nearly useless against a mechanized force closing in. Too fast, too unpredictable - chances that an artillery mission catches them are very low.
A few ideas, though, if you want to improve AI artillery handling in defence:
- if AI have DPICM, he'll try to reserve 6, else 3, guns for targets that are stationary for more than 2 minutes and pester them with 2-3 salvoes. Good to remind a player that he needs moving and may actually kill something valueable, especially if recon is able to penetrate into the rear of advancing player forces.
- out of remaining tubes, AI'll try to reserve every second to strikes against dismounts. Infantry is much slower so with a little computation AI can hit them right on head with an arty mission. Also, no more dismounting in the open without any smoke or cover.
- remaining ones can be used to make pre-set FMs over fortifications on the most obvious approach routes. Player forces are likely to move through these, get bogged down a bit, so why not make life even more fun for them with fire missions?
Those points are not so far from what different Field Manuals state regarding the use of artillery in defence.
Last edited by Brahmin3 on Sun Oct 21, 2012 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Unknowns and Civilians

Postby Perturabo » Sun Oct 21, 2012 5:10 pm

It would be nice if there were real civilians that can be attacked.
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Re: Unknowns and Civilians

Postby Veitikka » Sun Oct 21, 2012 5:42 pm

Brahmin3 wrote:Also, if, say, a tank is identified as enemy one, it's likely that those guys moving in lines around him are likely to be enemies too, not civs or friendlies. So the same logic as with return fire can applied in this case, marking all units in a set distance as enemy.


That's true. It can cause a chain reaction so if there's a big clump of enemies all of them can be revealed. We just have to decide what's a proper radius for it.

BTW, if a unit is identified as enemy it may be useful to retain his identification for some time (5-15 minutes?) even if the LOS if broken so we won't have to reID a tank that just disappeared for 30 seconds in a low ground.


I was going to make it permanent...

Perturabo wrote:It would be nice if there were real civilians that can be attacked.


I knew that you would chime in at this point :mrgreen:

That can be left to the modders.
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Re: Unknowns and Civilians

Postby Brahmin3 » Sun Oct 21, 2012 5:59 pm

That's true. It can cause a chain reaction so if there's a big clump of enemies all of them can be revealed. We just have to decide what's a proper radius for it.

I don't understand how a chain reaction will happen. If a unit is IDed, it'll generate an event that marks everyone around him as hostile, but those guys won't be IDed so they shouldn't generate the same event.

I was going to make it permanent...

Until multiplayer is done, this should be ok.
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Re: Unknowns and Civilians

Postby Veitikka » Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:42 pm

Brahmin3 wrote:
That's true. It can cause a chain reaction so if there's a big clump of enemies all of them can be revealed. We just have to decide what's a proper radius for it.

I don't understand how a chain reaction will happen. If a unit is IDed, it'll generate an event that marks everyone around him as hostile, but those guys won't be IDed so they shouldn't generate the same event.


Let's say that you see a wedge of tanks coming over a ridge. After some time you identify the leading vehicle, while some of the others are still behind the ridge. The chain reaction should make all of them, even the tanks that are still completely undetected, to lose the "unknown" status. When they cross the ridge they're still unidentified but known to be hostiles, and your units can engage them. It doesn't mean that the units are identified instantly, but when they're spotted they cannot hide anymore as a yellow symbol with a question mark.

Isn't it logical to assume that all vehicles in the formation are on the same side? This applies to the passengers too.
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Re: Unknowns and Civilians

Postby Brahmin3 » Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:02 pm

Ah, a bit of misunderstanding here. Yes,
Isn't it logical to assume that all vehicles in the formation are on the same side? This applies to the passengers too.

that's exactly what I was talking (well, at least trying to) about too. It's logical, sound and good.
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Re: Unknowns and Civilians

Postby Veitikka » Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:39 pm

I think I'll make it possible to see the neutral units that are within the identification range. They shall be green. More color to the game. Interesting to see how the bigger cities will look like with high density settings. Occasionally the neutral units jump a short distance. I was thinking about making some vehicles to follow roads but the road network is what it is so that wouldn't work out... The game is turning into GTA :)
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